The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) entitles a covered employee to take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for the birth or adoption of a child, or the “serious health condition” of the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, or parent. To protect this right, the FMLA prohibits an employer from interfering with an employee’s attempt to exercise his leave right or retaliating against an employee for opposing practices made unlawful under the FMLA. If an employer engages in these prohibited acts, the FMLA allows any one or more employees to bring suit for damages.
The Family and Medical Leave Act covers employees who have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period. A covered employer is any person engaged in commerce or in any industry or activity affecting commerce who employs 50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year.
The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles employees to retain any employer-paid health benefits while using FMLA-protected leave. Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee must be restored to the employee’s original job, or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.
In addition, an employee’s use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that the employee earned or was entitled to before using FMLA leave, nor be counted against the employee under a no fault attendance policy.