FMLA Guidelines

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for various reasons. You can return to your previous or similar job with equivalent pay and benefits.

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers are required to post a notice outlining their rights under the law in clear view and visible from all areas of the workplace. This notice must be prominently placed for everyone’s viewing pleasure.


Pregnancy is a medical condition that occurs in some women. It involves changes to the woman’s uterus (womb), blood flow, and hormones.

Under FMLA for pregnancy disability, you are entitled to take leave if your doctor deems it medically necessary. This means your physician must certify you cannot work due to a serious health issue such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.

It is possible to combine your leave for pregnancy disability and parenting in one block of time. However, this should only be done once. On average, six weeks of disability leave followed by another two weeks for recovery from childbirth will give you 12 weeks off at the end of your leave year.

Your partner may also be eligible to use some of their leave for pregnancy disability, though this isn’t guaranteed. Be sure to inquire with your employer about this so you can plan accordingly. If you require a week off before the baby arrives, speak with your doctor about starting to leave early so you have that precious week off.

Parental Leave

Parental leave is an employee benefit that allows employees to take time off work when a new child is born or adopted. Depending on your employer’s policies, parental leave may be paid or unpaid depending on the circumstance.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave. Furthermore, employees can take more than 12 weeks at once if specific criteria are met.

Some states, like Georgia and South Carolina, offer Paid Parental Leave to employees who have welcomed a new child into their families. This leave can be used for the child’s birth, adoption, or foster placement.

Federal employees with qualifying medical conditions or caring for a seriously ill family member can take paid parental leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This leave is available 12 months after birth or placement of the child, though not every federal employee has such an eligible condition.

Qualifying Exigency

Employees have the option to take unpaid, job-protected leave for a variety of qualifying experiences and events. These may include short-notice deployments, military affairs, related activities, child care arrangements and associated tasks, parental care plans, financial arrangements, legal counseling sessions, rest and recuperation periods after deployment, and any other mutually agreed upon activities between employer and employee.

Employees must submit a certification of the difficulty and all pertinent facts to the agency. This includes when it began and when it ended, whether intermittent leave will be needed, and how often and for how long.

When an employee submits a certification to support their request for leave due to a qualifying exigency, the agency may not request additional information but verify what has been provided. Suppose a meeting or appointment with a third party is involved in this situation. In that case, contact may be made with that individual or entity to confirm both the time and date of said meeting and verify any details provided in the employee’s statement regarding said meeting.

Military Leave

Reserve and National Guard employees may require leave for military training, mobilization, or deployment. Although this type of leave is not typically offered to employees, it remains covered under FMLA Guidelines.

Employers must accommodate this recurring leave. They cannot require employees to use vacation or PTO during this period, and they cannot adjust their schedule so that their military holiday falls on a scheduled day off.

Employers should create a policy for Reserve and National Guard employees to use when taking leave for military training or other purposes. This handout is an example of such a policy, helping employees understand their rights and responsibilities.

Employers must give employees advanced notice when they plan to take leave due to military commitments, either verbally or in writing. This notice should include the length of the promise, its start and end dates, as well as any special instructions.

Family and Medical Leave Act, abbreviated as FMLA enables employees working for eligible employers to take up to 12 weeks of leave. FMLA offers job-protected leave but it’s unpaid. Not all employees are eligible for the FMLA leave though. There are FMLA guidelines that both the employee and the employer must meet.

Although an employee who’s eligible for FMLA leave won’t get paid, the employee will get to keep his or her job. The most common reason why employees use their FMLA leave rights is to go on maternity/paternity leave. The FMLA leave helps employees who want or need the leave to take care of a family member. Even veterans and military service members on active duty are eligible.

While the FMLA leave sounds amazing and a lifesaver at times, the employee must be working for an eligible employer. The employee also needs to qualify for the FMLA leave. Here is everything you should know about the FMLA guidelines which must be met by both the employer and the employee.

FMLA Guidelines – Employers (Covered Employer)

Under the current FMLA guidelines, the employer must have at least 50 employees working for him or her within 75-mile radius of the workplace. If the employee happens to have less than 50 employees, the employee who’s requesting the FMLA leave isn’t eligible for it.

FMLA Guidelines – Employees

FMLA guidelines for employees are fairly simple. The employee must fulfill the following requirements to go on FMLA leave.

  • The employee must be working for at least 12 months prior to the leave.
  • The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours prior to the leave. The 1,250 hours is about 24 hours a week so even part-time employees are eligible for FMLA leave under the current guidelines.

If any of the eligibility requirements aren’t met by the employer and the employee, it means the employee isn’t eligible for the FMLA leave. The employees who qualify for the FMLA leave and work for a covered employer can go on FMLA leave. Employers cannot refuse to allow employees to use their FMLA leave. It’s simply against the law for employees to refuse FMLA leave.

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