Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

A family of geese

If your employer has at least 50 employees and you have worked for the company for at least 12 months (which don’t have to be continuous), including at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12- month period immediately before the leave starts, then you may be covered by the FMLA.  The State of Alaska also has a family leave act, and some private companies may offer leave, but they do not have to follow the FMLA.

Under the FMLA, you may take up to 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • the birth of a child, and time to care for the newborn child;
  • adoption of a child or a foster care placement, and time to care for the child;
  • your spouse, son, daughter, or parent has a serious health condition, and needs your care; or
  • you have a serious health condition that makes you unable to perform at least one essential function of your job.

During FMLA leave, an employer must maintain your existing level of insurance coverage under a group health plan. Generally, an employer must take you back into the same or an equivalent job at the end of the FMLA leave.  You may be required to provide information, including current updates, verifying the serious medical condition that led to the leave.