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What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

| Oct 27, 2017 | Race Discrimination |

While the application of laws related to racial discrimination protects the treatment of minorities in the workplace, their protection also extends to employees of a certain gender or demographic in Kansas City. Say that you are pregnant or are struggling with medical condition that requires you to take extended time off of work. What is to keep your employer from firing you for your absence? The Family and Medical Leave Act prevents this. 

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act? It allows you to take unpaid leave while still retaining your group health insurance coverage and protecting your job, as well. If you are eligible for FMLA, your employer is required to allow up to 12 work weeks of leave over a 12-month period. Only certain cases qualify for FMLA leave, however. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these include: 

  • Having a baby
  • Caring for a baby younger than one year
  • Helping care for a newly adopted child (or one in foster care)
  • Recovering from a condition or injury that impedes you from doing your job
  • Caring for a spouse, child or parent that is suffering from a serious medical condition
  • Qualifying exigency leave when a spouse, child, parent or next of kin is an active duty military member

Your allowed time away from work extends to 26 work weeks in a 12-month period if you are needed to care for a spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a servicemember suffering from an injury or illness. 

The job protection the FMLA offers does not necessarily mean you must go back to the same job. If your employer must fill your job in your absence, he or she must offer you a new position with a similar wage and responsibilities upon your return.