The Family And Medical Leave Act Protects Jobs When Family Crises Hit

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides an employee up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave from his or her job for certain personal or family medical reasons. It is one of the most complicated of the federal employment laws, and Kansas does not have a law that is like it, so employees have to rely upon the federal law to help them with medical leave issues.

Qualifying Reasons For Leave Under The FMLA

Medical reasons that qualify under the FMLA include:

  • Birth of a newborn child of an employee (as well as doctor visits and pregnancy complications)
  • Adoption of a child by an employee or foster care placement of a child with an employee
  • A serious health condition that prevents an employee from completing the responsibilities of his or her job
  • Caring for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) with a serious health condition
  • Qualifying exigencies where an employee's spouse, son, daughter or parent is on active duty or called to active status as a member of the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation

A military caregiver provision allows an eligible employee to take up to 26 workweeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of the service member.

Company Size And Employment History Are Important Factors

The law does not apply to employees unless their worksite has 50 or more employees, or such employees are within a 75-mile radius of the primary place of employment. For example, you work in an office with 25 people, but nearby there is a manufacturing facility where 100 people work.

In addition, in order to be eligible for the FMLA, the employee must have worked 1,250 hours for one year. This includes employees who worked intermittently over several years.

Unlike other federal employment laws, an employee does not have to file a
charge with the EEOC or the Kansas Human Rights Commission to pursue a complaint under the FMLA laws.

Let Us Review Your Situation

For a free initial consultation* with the attorney Michael M. Shultz, call 785-838-4300 or send the firm an email. We represent clients in Shawnee County, northeast Kansas and across the state from an office in Topeka.

*Our free initial consultation is designed to help potential clients determine whether he or she has valid legal claims that can be filed with state or federal agencies or with the courts. It is usually completed via phone and lasts a maximum of 30 minutes. A follow-up office visit may be scheduled if appropriate.