Am I entitled to medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? What are the FMLA eligibility requirements and qualifications in Ohio?
Do you or a family member suffer from a serious medical condition or do you have an upcoming surgery? If you need medical leave from work, you could be entitled to protected leave that guarantees your job when you return to work. Our Columbus, Ohio employment lawyers break down the ins and outs of FMLA eligibility.
Eligible individuals who are employed with a covered employer are entitled to take medical leave pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Employers are covered by the FMLA if they employ at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of the workplace within the preceding calendar year. However, this 50-employee minimum requirement does not extend to public agencies.
To be eligible to take FMLA leave, an employee must have worked no less than 1,250 hours for that employer during the 12 months prior to the start of the FMLA leave. This includes hours the employee actually worked. This does not include time spent on vacations, holidays, sick days, or other paid or unpaid time off work.
An eligible employee may request FMLA leave for any of the following reasons:
- For the employee’s own serious health condition
- To care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition
- To care for a newborn child or to prepare for the birth of a child
- For adoption or foster care placement of a child
- To care for a family member who was injured while on activity military duty
- To assist with transitioning the employee, or the employee’s spouse, who is called to active military duty
An employee in need of FMLA leave need not specifically mention the FMLA by name. However, employees are required to provide their employer with sufficient information that would lead the employer to believe that the leave is FMLA-qualifying, and the anticipated duration of such leave.
If the need for FMLA leave is foreseeable, employees must provide notice at least 30 days in advance of the need for leave, if possible, or as soon as practicable if a 30-day notice is not possible. If the need for leave is unforeseeable, the employee must notify the employer of the need for leave as soon as practicable. Employees must always follow their employer’s usual call-off policies and procedures even if the need for leave is FMLA-qualifying.
After an employee gives his or her employer notice of the need for FMLA-qualifying leave, the employer must, within 5 business days, inform the employee whether he or she is eligible for FMLA leave. The employer must also inform the employee of the expectations and rules associated with such leave. If the employer requires the employee to obtain medical certification in support of the reason for the requested leave, the employee has 15 calendar days from the date of the request to return the completed certification to his or her employer.
If you have questions related to your rights under the FMLA, contact our Columbus, Ohio Employment Lawyers for a free consultation.
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