As an employee, you are entitled to certain benefits. One federal benefit that you should be aware of is outlined in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This benefit allows employees to take unpaid leave to handle family responsibilities, such as giving birth or caring for an ill family member. While women are more likely to take this leave, it is available to men as well.
FMLA applies to companies with at least 50 employees. To be eligible, employees must have worked for the company for at least a year and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours in the past year.
However, not all employers follow the rules. If you are eligible for FMLA benefits but have been denied, contact an FMLA lawyer in Chicago to understand your legal rights.
FMLA allows Illinois employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, to be used within 12 months, for medical reasons. It can be used to care for themselves or a loved one with a serious health condition, bond with a new child, or for any other urgent needs that are family-related. Employees are allowed to keep their medical insurance and they can use paid time off or vacation leave, if available.
This leave is available every 12 months, as long as the employee meets the eligibility requirements, so it’s not a one-time leave. The situations FMLA covers are outlined below:
In addition, FMLA allows employees to take up to 26 weeks of military caregiver leave. This leave can be taken during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness, such as the employee’s spouse, child, or parent. The employee cannot take additional leave for this purpose unless the same family member is injured again, or another relative is injured in the line of duty.
If you have given birth or need to care for a family member for an extended period, you may qualify for FMLA. It is best to discuss this with your employer first but if they are unwilling to approve your request, even if you qualify, then you may need to seek legal help.
The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline is an FMLA lawyer in Chicago who can assist you if your employment rights have been violated. Call (312) 558-1454 or fill out the online form to schedule a free consultation.