Leaves of Absence/ FMLA

  • Leaves of Absence/FMLA

    Our attorneys have successfully assisted our clients in defending their FMLA rights and, when necessary, have initiated claims in federal court.

    The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law allowing eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for personal medical reasons or to care for a family member. Depending on the circumstances, an employee can take time off intermittently as long as it adds up to no more than 12 weeks total. For example, if an employee or his/her family member has a serious health condition, the employee can take leave when necessary to attend doctors’ visits or receive treatment.

    When an employee returns from FMLA leave, an employer is required to reinstate the employee to the position s/he held before taking leave or to a position with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms of employment. However, FMLA does provide a limited “key employee exception” to this requirement. If the employee qualifies as “key employee,” the employer would not be obligated to comply with the statute’s reinstatement requirements.

    Employers are also prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee that requests or takes FMLA leave.

  • Medical Leave

    In many cases an employee who takes a leave of absence for medical reasons will qualify for FMLA leave. If an eligible employee requests FMLA leave, the employer is prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against the employee.

  • Pregnancy/Maternity Leave

    In many cases an employee may take a leave of absence for medical reasons due to a medical condition related to pregnancy, birth, and/or the care of a newborn child.

    Note: Individual companies may provide employees the opportunity to take additional maternity leave. This policy should be applied consistently to all employees.

  • Paternity Leave

    The FMLA allows a qualified employee to take a leave of absence for the birth and the care of a newborn child and for the placement of a child for adoption or foster care. The protections of the FMLA apply equally to fathers and mothers.

    Note: Individual companies may provide employees the opportunity to take additional leave time. Such a policy should be applied consistently to all employees.

  • Caring for a Family Member

    An employee may qualify for FMLA leave to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition.

    Employees in New Jersey are also protected by the New Jersey Family Leave Act.

    Note: Individual companies may provide employees the opportunity to take additional leave time. Such a policy should be applied consistently to all employees.

  • Military Leave

    In 2009 the FMLA was amended to provide two types of leave benefits to military families; exigency and military caregiver leave.

    Exigency Leave: Eligible employees who are the spouse, child, or parent of a military member (active duty and reserve members) may take up to 12 weeks leave during any 12-month period to address the issues that arise when a military member is deployed to a foreign country. The employee can take leave to attend military sponsored functions, make appropriate financial and legal arrangements, and to arrange for alternative childcare.

    Military Caregiver Leave: Eligible employees who are the spouse, child, parent or next of kin of a military member (active duty and reserve members) may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave during a single 12-month period to care for the service member who is undergoing treatment, therapy, or other type of outpatient care, or who is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list due to a serious injury or illness incurred or aggravated while on active duty.

    The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects returning veterans from discrimination on the basis of their service and provides a right to reemployment for many returning members of the uniformed services.