Family leaves are qualified unpaid leaves an employee can take when they have a personal family issue. Under the FMLA (family medical leave act), an employee can take time off from work for the following reason: to care for the newborn child, to prepare for the upcoming child, to prepare for adoption, or to care for their family members who are suffering from health conditions.
FMLA allows employees to take leaves only when specific criteria are fulfilled; if not fulfilled, an employer can fire their employee. To understand these criteria and get job-protected leaves, you can contact a New Jersey employment lawyer to know whether you are eligible for leave or not.
To be eligible for leave, an employee should fulfill the following criteria.
Having 50 employees within a 75-mile radius:
Agencies such as state and federal governments are not required to follow this rule as most of the federal government employees easily qualify for FMLA leave, while employees working in the public sector must satisfy the 50 employees rule. There should be a minimum of 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of the working site for every working day during the past year.
Having 12 months of employment:
Even if the employees qualify for the FMLA, the eligibility of the employees for the workplace may vary. The other criteria that need to be fulfilled to become eligible are the 12-month rule. The employee applying for the eligibility for the family leave act must be employed for at least 12 months. The 12 working months may not be consecutive.
1250 hours of service:
If you have qualified the criteria for 12 months of employment and 50 employees, you need to fulfill other criteria for being eligible for the family leave act. This is the 1250 hours rule. In this rule, the employee working under the employer must spend 1250 hours working. The working hours do not involve holidays, sick leaves, or vacations. Moreover, an employee should complete their 1250 hours of service within 12 months.
How can a lawyer help?
Before applying for a leave, you must discuss all the criteria mentioned above with your employer and attorney, as you should not be held accountable for breaking any of the company policies. Once you have fulfilled all the criteria, you can apply for a leave. However, your employer may deny your leave for unjustified reasons in some cases. Your attorney can help you take legal action against your employer. Your attorney can also help you if you were demoted or fired after returning to work after a leave.