Under the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA), workers are entitled to miss as many as 12 weeks of work in order to properly take care of either their or a family members' emergency medical conditions.
Situations in which FMLA may be used include when you need to take some time to care for a seriously ill family member or if your own poor health precludes you from performing your job. You can take it soon after you've welcomed a new child into your home as well.
An illness or injury generally must be serious enough to require either continuing treatment or inpatient care by medical personnel in order to qualify for FMLA. The afflicted family member must be the employee's child, spouse or parents.
Often, female workers who are placed on bed rest during their pregnancies may decide to take advantage of FMLA. Both mother and father may also use FMLA at once or space it out over the course of a year. Parents can even choose to shorten their work days on a consistent basis while on FMLA.
Parents looking to foster or adopt a child may take FMLA before and after the placement of the child. It can be taken as needed to attend court hearings, travel to pick the child up, visit a counselor or to adjust to new family dynamics.
In the event that your own health declines so much that it makes it impossible for you to do your job, you may be allowed to use FMLA to receive regular treatment for what ails you. You may be asked to take FMLA if your condition requires you to be absent from work for more than three days. If you have a chronic condition, your employer may request documentation of your illness and treatment.
Finally, in the case of close relatives who are ill, you must document that the conditions are chronic in nature as opposed to temporary, to qualify for FMLA.
If you believe that you qualify to take FMLA, yet have been denied the opportunity, a Silver Springs, Maryland, employment discrimination attorney can advise you of your rights.
Source: FindLaw, "Reasons that qualify for FMLA leave," accessed Dec. 08, 2017