February 17, 2016 |
If you are a business owner, you’ve probably heard of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). It’s important that you understand how the FMLA rules impacts your business or if it does at all. This is a federal law that applies in all states. Yet, most states also have some version of this at the state level as well. California has the California Family Rights Act. They are very similar but we will look at the Family Medical Leave Act in this blog.
The Family Medical Leave Act protects the employees’ job should they have to take an extended leave from work for certain personal or family health reasons. Each eligible employee is allowed up to 12 weeks per year. This is unpaid leave.
An employee can use the FMLA to care for their spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition or is unable to work because of their own personal health condition.
Employees are allowed up to 26 weeks in a 12-month period to take care a military service member with a serious injury or illness.
One last thing to remember is to check your employee handbook and what you tell your employees. While you may not be legally required to give your employees FMLA, if you tell them that they can take extended time off in the handbook or in conversation, this could land you in hot water if their job is not available when they come back. Make sure you don’t promise something you can’t deliver on.