In the course of life, unfortunate situations may arise in which one must be absent from work for a prolonged period of time. Oftentimes, that unfortunate situation maybe one’s illness or the illness of a family member. Fortunately, the Family Medical Leave Act may lend protection to those who need to take a leave from work for medical purposes.
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What is the Family Medical Leave Act?
The Family Medical Leave Act is a federal law that is designed to protect eligible employees to taking an unpaid leave from work for the reasons outlined in the Act. It is important to note that Texas does not have its own family and medical leave law, but instead falls under the umbrella of the federal statute.
Who is Protected by the Family Medical Leave Act?
The Family Medical Leave Act does not apply to all illnesses and circumstances.
The Act states,
(a) In general
(1) Entitlement to leave Subject to section 2613 of this title, an eligible employee shall be entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following:
(A) Because of the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and in order to care for such son or daughter.
(B) Because of the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care.
(C) In order to care for the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent, of the employee, if such spouse, son, daughter, or parent has a serious health condition.
(D) Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee.
(E) Because of any qualifying exigency (as the Secretary shall, by regulation, determine) arising out of the fact that the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on covered active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty) in the Armed Forces.
In short, employees are eligible for a total of 12 workweeks within one year of: the birth of a child; the adoption of a child; to care for a spouse, son, daughter, parent or oneself because of a serious health conditions; or care for a family member who was wounded in the armed forces.