Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), qualified employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of protected medical leave for a serious medical condition, pregnancy, or to care for an immediate family member with a serious medical condition. FMLA is not to be confused with a paid leave policy. While employees may receive compensation by virtue of an employer’s sick leave or short term disability policies, the primary purpose of the FMLA is to ensure that the employer does not terminate or replace otherwise performing employees just because they suffer a temporary medical hardship.
Not every employee is entitled to FMLA. To be FMLA eligible, an employee must work for a company that employs at least 50 persons within a 75 mile radius of the worksite. Second, an employee must have worked for that company for at least one year and for at least 1250 hours before they can claim the FMLA leave protection.