When can you use FMLA leave?

In the winter, it seems like everyone is sick at some point. As cold and flu season rages on across the United States, many people may be missing work as a result of the illness. While some employers prefer that sick employees stay home, others may reprimand employees for missing too much work. When you are sick, you many wonder when exactly you can use medical leave to protect your job.

Under the Family Medical Leave Act, Louisiana residents can take up to 12 unpaid weeks off from work with job protection under certain conditions. As a previous post explained, only qualified employees are entitled to this protection. However, in addition to be qualified to use FMLA protections, the person must also be placed in one of a few situations.

According to the United States Department of Labor, an employee is qualified to take FMLA leave for the birth of a new child. The leave can be taken within one year of the birth of the newborn child. Additionally, Louisiana residents also qualify for leave when they adopt a new child or if a new foster child is placed in their home. Again, the FMLA leave must be taken within one year of the child's placement in the employee's home.

In addition to welcoming a new child, FMLA leave can be taken in certain medical emergencies. In these cases, the employees must need to take care of themselves or another. Specifically, if an employee is unable to perform the essential functions of the person's job as the individual suffers from a serious health condition, then the person can take FMLA leave.

FMLA leave is also appropriate when an employee must care for certain families as they struggle with a serious health condition. Qualifying family members include children, parents and spouses.

If a Louisiana resident has been denied medical leave under the FMLA, they should know their rights. Specific legal advice -- which this post cannot provide -- is necessary in these situations.