The Family and Medical Leave Act, most notable known as FMLA, is a federal law that was enacted to provide eligible employees job protected leave for medical reasons or to care for specified family members.
The law applies to all government employers and any private employers with 50 or more employees and it allows for up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave during a rolling 12-month period. For employee to qualify for FMLA they would have had to have worked for the company for at least 12 months and worked at least 1250 hours within the previous 12 months prior to going on leave. There are, however, some states that have their own lessened qualifications for employees to qualify for FMLA, but for the majority that don’t, the federal guidelines are as such. If an employee goes out on FMLA leave it’s most likely because they have a serious health condition that makes them unable to perform their job functions, their immediate family member has a serious medical condition and the employee needs to care for them, or the birth or adoption of a child and their entitled bonding time with the child. Those three scenarios are hands down the most prevalent reasons for an employee taking FMLA leave, but there is a fourth and final qualifier: military family leave.
Be it that military family leave isn’t something that most HR professionals are tasked with administering on a consistent basis, we’ll use this post as a crash course on what military leave under FMLA entails. For starters, there are two types of military family leaves outlined in the FMLA legislation:
What you might be asking yourself is what constitutes as a "qualified exigency"? According to the FMLA bylaws a military family leave qualified exigency would constitute as any of the following:
In short, the FMLA law essentially does its best to allow leave for nearly any circumstance that would cause an employee to miss work due to issues arising from themselves or an immediate family member who has been sent on, or is facing, military deployment.
Similar to an employee taking FMLA for a serious medical condition for themselves or an immediate family member, or for the birth or adoption of a child, the employer may request certain documentation to approve a military leave. Typically what is required is the military member's active duty orders and any other accompanying documentation that might be relevant to vindicate an absence from work for military family leave reasons.
Since the legislation was enacted into federal law in 1993, the Family Medical Leave Act has been one of the most important and influential labor laws in United States history. Not only does it provide much needed job protect for employees who experience medical hardship for themselves or their family members or bonding time with a new child, but it also protects the people who are affected by the duties of the individuals who are protecting all of us, our servicemembers. Simply put, it's laws like FMLA that make America, America, and here at CobraHelp we're all for that. For anyone who would like to be involved in the aiding of our troops and their families, we encourage you to visit the website for the Nation Military Family Association for details.