What is FMLA Leave?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) allows eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave with continuation of group health insurance coverage for up to 12 workweeks in a 12-month period for the following reasons:

  • The birth and care of a newborn child;
  • The placement of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • Serious health condition of the employee or the employee’s spouse, child, or parent; or
  • Qualifying exigencies arising out of a covered military member’s covered active duty status.

Who is eligible for FMLA Leave?

Eligible employees are those who:

  • Work for an employer who employees 50 or more employees;
  • Have worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
  • Worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the 12 months prior to taking leave; and
  • Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

How can you take FMLA leave?

FMLA leave can be taken the following ways:

  • In a continuous block of time (i.e. an employee takes 4 weeks of FMLA leave to care for her newborn child); or
  • Intermittent or Reduced Leave Schedule

What is Intermittent Leave or Reduced Leave Schedule?

Intermittent leave is FMLA leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason. A reduced leave schedule, on the other hand, is a reduction in the employee’s usual number of hours per workweek or workday. Often times, with a reduced leave schedule, the employee’s schedule changes from full-time to part-time.

For an employee to be eligible for intermittent leave or  leave on a reduced leave schedule, the leave must be taken because of a serious health condition or to care for the serious health condition of a spouse, parent, or child. In essence, there must be a medical need for the leave that can be best accommodated through intermittent leave or a reduced leave schedule.

If intermittent leave or leave on a reduced leave schedule is requested after the birth or placement of a health child, the employer must agree to such leave.