FMLA Regulations & Requirements

FMLA regulations can be difficult to understand, and it’s not easy to recognize the FMLA requirements that employees must meet. In a nutshell, the FMLA requires companies to allow employees to take time off to fulfill certain caretaking responsibilities or to recover from a serious illness. If your company is covered by the law, an eligible employee is entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every 12 months.

  • Employees can take leave from a number of reasons, the most common being:
  • Bonding with a new child
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition

FMLA leave is unpaid, although an employee may choose—or the company may require employees—to use up accrued paid leave, such as sick leave or vacation, during this time off. The employer must continue the employee’s group health coverage during FMLA leave. When the employee's leave is over, the employee must be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position, with the same benefits, as the employee had before taking time off.

Exceptions and special rules apply to the following groups:

  • Public Employers
  • Schools

Additionally, unionized employees must be aware that a collective bargaining agreement might impose different family and medical leave obligations on the employer.

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