Who qualifies for FMLA leave?

Life can be unpredictable. You, your child or a close family member can get sick or hurt. These situations are common and often unavoidable. When they happen, you might have to leave work to take care of yourself or that family member. In these cases, you may worry about whether you could lose your job in your absence.

Under the Family Medical Leave Act, employers must provide 12 unpaid weeks of leave per year to qualified employees. During this time, the company must protect your job and maintain your group health insurance benefits in your absence.

To qualify for FMLA leave and its protections, you must meet several qualifications. First, you must work for a private company with 50 or more employees, a public agency or a public or private elementary or secondary school. If you work for a smaller company then you will not receive FMLA protections. You must also physically work within 75 miles of a location where 50 or more employees are employed by the company. Second, you must have been employed by the company for at least 12 months before you take leave. Third, during that 12 months you have to have worked at least 1,250 hours.

If you meet these qualifications, then you may be able to take leave under the FMLA for qualified reasons. These reasons include the birth or adoption of a child, because you are suffering from a serious health condition or because you taking care of an immediate family member -- parent, spouse or child -- with a serious health condition.

Because there are so many factors that determine if you qualify for FMLA leave, this blog post cannot provide specific legal advice. Therefore, you should seek guidance from a qualified Louisiana attorney.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Leave Benefits," accessed Sept. 21, 2014