Three minutes, six questions. That’s all it takes to discover whether you know what you MUST know about the FMLA.
Does the FMLA apply to my company?
Answer: The FMLA only applies to employers with 50 or more employees.
Which employees are eligible for unpaid leave under the FMLA?
Answer: Employees who have been employed with the company for a total of 12-months, worked a minimum of 1,250 hours within the last 12-months, and work at a location with 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius are eligible for FMLA leave.
How much leave unpaid FMLA leave are eligible employees entitled to?
Answer: Eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a 12-month period.
When can an employee take FMLA leave?
Answer: Generally, there are three reasons (1) The birth or care of a newborn, and the placement of a child for adoption or foster care (both men and women are eligible); (2) the employee’s own “serious health condition” that makes the employee unable to perform their job; (3) to care for a spouse, child or parent with a “serious health condition”.
What is considered a “serious health condition”?
Answer: The FMLA defines a “serious health condition” as “"illness, injury, impairment or any physical or mental condition that requires inpatient medical care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.” While this definition is vague and open for interpretation, employers do have the right to request that the employee provide medical certification from a doctor when the employee requests FMLA leave for his or her own serious health condition, or the serious health condition of his or her parent, spouse or child.
What does the FMLA require or prohibit an employer from doing?
Answer: When an eligible employee returns from FMLA leave, the employer must return them to the same position, or an equivalent position, with equal pay, benefits and perks. An equivalent position must involve the same or substantially similar duties, responsibilities and authorities. Covered employers cannot: (1) prevent eligible employees from taking FMLA leave; (2) consider FMLA leave as a negative factor in any employment action (hiring, firing, promotion or discipline); or (3) retaliate against employees who request FMLA leave or complain about a violation of the FMLA.
Bonus Question – Are there special provisions for military families?
Answer: YES! The spouse, child, parent or next of kin of a “covered active duty” service member can take leave for a “qualifying exigency”. A “qualifying exigency” is a specific activity arising out of the fact that a covered military member is on active duty, including issues related to short notice deployment, making financial and legal arrangements, arranging childcare, attending counseling, and post-deployment activities.
Under the military caregiver provision, the spouse, child, parent or next of kin of a covered service member, including the National Guard or Reserves, can take leave to care for the service member who incurred a serious injury or illness in the line of duty.
Employees taking leave under these provisions are entitled to a total of 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave (including regular FMLA leave) during 12-month period.
This quiz is just a starting point. There’s a lot more to the FMLA and compliance can be tricky. So if you had trouble answering any of these questions or you’d like some additional guidance, please contact Theo Lu at (706) 259-2586 or click on the email link on his bio page.