Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, one federal law that has received renewed attention is the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Many people have to take time off due to illness or to take care of loved ones. Companies are looking towards the FMLA to determine how to handle this unprecedented time. In this article, we will discuss Family Medical Leave Act and what every business in Florida should know about it.
What Is The Family Medical Leave Act?
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) passed in 1993 and guaranteed certain employees the right to take time off of work for certain medical circumstances. Although this time off does not guarantee that the employee continues to receive their salary, it does guarantee that the employee doesn’t lose their job.
Who Must Follow the FMLA?
The FMLA applies to those employers who have at least fifty employees. Those employees must be employed for twenty weeks in a year-long period. The FMLA applies to private employers, public employers, and charitable organizations as well.
Do All Employees Qualify For FMLA?
In order for an employee to qualify for the FMLA, the employer has to meet the standards above. Additionally, the business must have employed the employee for at least twelve months and have had them work a collective of 1,250 hours during that period.
Can An Employee Take Leave Under The FMLA At Any Time?
For an employee to be able to take leave under the FMLA, they must experience a qualifying event. The FMLA defines a qualifying event as follows:
- Being diagnosed with a medical condition, for example, COVID
- Becoming a caregiver for an immediate family member diagnosed with a medical condition
- Birth and care of a child
- Adoption or fostering of a child
- Emergency resulting from active duty of the employee or immediate family member
Is The Leave Under FMLA Infinite?
Under the FMLA, the leave guaranteed is unpaid and only up to twelve weeks. If an employee needs more time, the employer is under no obligation to keep their job open.
What Happens If An Employer Does Not Follow The FMLA?
If an employer does not follow the laws under the FMLA, then they may subject themselves to major liability issues. The employee who was denied guaranteed rights under the FMLA may seek compensation for wrongful termination, lost and unpaid wages with interest, and legal fees. Additionally, this may lead the employer to receive scrutiny for other possible violations such as those protected against in the FLSA, which may lead to fines and other civil liabilities.
In order to protect yourself from liability claims under the FMLA, contact Dowd Law for a consultation. The attorneys of Dowd Law have years of experience in ensuring that businesses in the State of Florida are in compliance with the FMLA and are protected from liability. Contact Dowd Law for a consultation to make sure your business is in compliance with the FMLA.