There may come a point in your life when you need to take time away from work as the result of a medical concern. If this happens, learn more about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). More specifically, you want to understand if you're eligible for benefits.
FMLA entitles eligible employees to take time away from work for a family or medical emergency. Some of the most common events that result in FMLA leave include:
- The birth or adoption of a child
- Caring for a family member, e.g., your spouse or child, with a serious health condition
- Seeking treatment for a personal health condition that prevents you from performing your job
There is some gray area when it comes to requesting FMLA. For example, there may be questions about what is considered a serious health condition. Generally speaking, this entails any injury, illness or condition that involves continuing treatment or inpatient care by a health care provider.
Also, when it comes to caring for a family member, only certain people qualify. These include spouse, child or parent.
What to do next
If you want to take FMLA leave, the first thing you should do is review your employee handbook. It should clearly outline the process of requesting leave.
If you don't find what you're looking for, speak with your HR department. They can provide more information on what you can and can't do, thus giving you a better idea of the next steps to take.
One of the best things about FMLA leave is that your employer is not permitted to terminate your employment simply for requesting time off. If this happens, which is always a possibility, learn more about your legal rights.