What’s the Family and Medical Leave Act?

If you or a loved one is suffering from a medical condition or if you’re about to become a new parent, you may be considering taking time off work. Thanks to the Family and Medical Leave Act, you may be able to take time off work and have your job protected while you do.

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family Medical Leave Act, which is also known as the FMLA, is an act that entitles all covered employees to take unpaid and job-protected leave from work for reasons specified in the law.

Is my health insurance continued during my medical or family leave?

Yes. Under the act, you are allowed to continue group health insurance coverage during your leave under the same terms as before you went on leave. No changes should be made because of leaving for the term.

How long can I take off work?

Employees entitled to family and medical leave can take up to 12 weeks off work. This time can be taken at any point during the year for personal reasons related to the birth of a new child, the placement of an adopted child, to care for a child, parent or spouse who has returned from active duty, to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition or to care for his or her own serious health condition. If the individual is a covered service member, then he or she can take up to 26 workweeks of leave within a year to care for someone who is ill in the family.

Source: United States Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division, “Family and Medical Leave Act,” accessed April 29, 2016

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