Protecting Your Job When You Are Sick or a Family Member Is Sick

Updated on January 30, 2018
caranoelle profile image

Cara-Noelle is a HR professional and has been working in human resources for 20 years. She holds a Master's degree in HR Management.

What is FMLA?

"Fim-lah"? What is FMLA? FMLA stands for the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. This act enables eligible employees of covered employers to have job protection when they need to take time away from work for either their own serious health condition, a qualifying family member's serious health condition, as well as for bonding with a child, or for military deployment. Already confused? Don't be, read on.

Source

Covered Employers

FMLA only applies to employers who meet specific criteria. So, who are covered employers?

Covered employers are:

Private-sector employers who have at least 50 employees during at least 20 workweeks in the current or immediately previous calendar year.

Public agencies such as local, state, or Federal government agencies, and public and private elementary and secondary schools regardless of their number of employees.

Eligible Employees

As previously stated, only eligible employees are entitled to take FMLA leave from work. So who are eligible employees?

To be an eligible employee you must meet the following criteria:

First, you must be employer by a covered employer (which we already covered, so yay!) and work at a location where your employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

You must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours for your employer during the 12 months that are immediately preceding your leave request.

Have you ever been disciplined at work for calling in sick due to a chronic condition?

See results

Qualifying Family Members

So, who are qualifying family members? How does a family member become qualified? Who deems my family as qualified? Don't worry, the Federal Government defined that too!

Qualifying Family Members are an eligible employee’s child, parent, or spouse with a serious health condition.

Who qualifies as a child? A biological, foster or adopted child.

Who qualifies as a parent? This one is a little trickier; it is your biological or legal parents as well as a family member who stood in place of your parent or in loco parentis.

"Spouse" covers both same- and opposite-sex spouses.

Yay! So that's it, you've got it all, right? Wrong!

Serious Health Condition

You keep seeing the term Serious Health Condition, so what is a serious health condition? Doctors may say this is only for very serious illnesses, such as terminal illnesses. However, the government has a more broad definition.

A Serious Health Condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition which:

Requires an overnight stay at a hospital or other medical facility; or

Results in an incapacity of four or more consecutive calendar days with the need for follow up care; or

Chronic conditions requiring ongoing care by a health care provider; or

Incapacity for pregnancy or prenatal care; or

Permanent and long-term medical conditions; or

Treatment for substance abuse.


Protection

Great, so what does this protection entitle me to?

Well, firstly it requires that employees be restored to the same job once returning from the leave, or one nearly identical to it (in nearly all cases). This includes protecting your schedule, pay rate and work location.

While out on FMLA leave, employers are required to continue health insurance coverage as if the employee was not on leave (not increase premiums or terminate coverage).

And employers cannot retaliate against you for using or trying to use FMLA leave.

This means time you take off from work which is protected by FMLA cannot be used against you when doing attendance audits.

Is That All?

No! This is just a brief summary to try to bring it all together and help you better understand what FMLA is, who is eligible and what it protects you from.

FMLA is a complex beast with many parts. I will write more articles about it delving into some of the more complex areas in depth. This is just a general overview meant to help you better understand what it is.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)