Some workers have employment benefits that include paid time off and even maternity leave. Employers may give workers with enough time on the job compensation even on days that they can’t come into work.
Your employer does not need to have a paid time off benefit for you to qualify for time off of work. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), certain employers have an obligation to allow their workers to take unpaid leave. They do not have to offer paid leave, but they do have to allow a worker whose situation meets certain standards to take multiple weeks of unpaid time off without negative repercussions for their career.
Who can ask for unpaid time off under the FMLA?
As the name suggests, the focus of the FMLA is to allow people to take care of their own house and meet family needs in certain situations. You will additionally need to meet certain requirements, including having worked for the company for at least a year and having put in at least 1,250 hours during your most recent 12 months of employment.
Someone who is ill or suffers an injury can request leave during their treatment and recovery. Workers can also request leave to support a loved one during their medical treatment. This kind of leave generally only applies to those caring for their spouses, parents or children. Speaking of children, they are the third category of reasons why people can ask for FMLA leave.
New parents can ask for leave when they give birth, they adopt or they have a child placed for foster care in their family. It’s also worth noting that FMLA leave sought to care for an active-duty service member who is a spouse, child or parent might result in up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave.
When do employers have to comply with FMLA requirements?
The size of your employer will be the primary deciding factor in whether or not you have the right to request leave under the FMLA. Generally speaking, the company needs to have at least 50 employees in a 75-mile radius of where you work.
Workers with denied claims that should receive approval and workers facing termination retaliation for requesting FMLA leave may need to assert their rights and push back against their employers’ inappropriate behavior.