FMLA Eligibility Rules For Florida Employees
While you may not be too worried about taking a couple of days off work to deal with an illness or personal matter, you might have concerns about requesting leave for a longer period of time. Your job is your livelihood, so you do not want to jeopardize your employment; at the same time, you cannot quit and risk your financial security. Fortunately, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects the rights of employees, and most Florida employers must comply with its requirements.
Under FMLA, you can take up to 12 weeks off in a 12-month period for designated reasons. You must follow the rules on notifying your employer and, importantly, you must be eligible for the protections of FMLA. The details of your employment are crucial, but there are also factors related to your employer that must be considered. A Florida FMLA attorney can tell you more about whether you qualify, and a summary of eligibility rules is helpful.
FMLA Eligibility Basics: One aspect of eligibility is based upon the employee’s status and the nature of the employment relationship. First, you must be a true employee as opposed to an independent contractor. Plus:
- You must have worked for your employer for at least one year.
- You need to accumulate at least 1,250 hours within the previous year, which is approximately 25 hours per week.
- Your workplace has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
The second key aspect of eligibility for FMLA falls on the employer: A company must comply with the law if it has 50 or more employees who worked at least 20 weeks in the current or previous calendar year.
Qualifying Reasons for Taking Leave: In addition to meeting the eligibility rules, you must also be requesting leave for a purpose allowed by FMLA. Employees are allowed 12 weeks’ time off to recover from their own serious medical condition. They can also request leave under FMLA:
- To care for a family member that suffers from a serious health issue;
- To bond with a new child, including one becoming part of the family through adoption;
- For dealing with the demands of a family member’s military service; or,
- To care for a family member who sustained serious injury during active duty in the military.
Note that if you are requesting leave for #4 above, you can get up to 26 weeks off under FMLA.
How FMLA Works: If you qualify and are taking leave for a proper reason, FMLA requires your employer to reinstate you to your position upon return. You are also entitled to certain benefits while out, including health insurance. FMLA does not require your employer to pay you.
Contact a Palm Beach Gardens FMLA Lawyer to Discuss Eligibility Details
As you can see, it is essential to have skilled legal representation when requesting leave and with disputes. Sconzo Law Office is committed to protecting your rights under FMLA, so please call 561-279-6114 or visit us online to schedule a no-cost consultation. Our firm represents clients throughout Palm Beach County in a range of employment law matters, and we look forward to hearing from you.