The Family and Medical Leave Act was originally passed in 1993, providing American workers with the right to take time off of work in order to address serious health concerns, be there for family members in their times of need, or be present for the birth of a child. As a result of the law, millions of Americans are granted unpaid leave of their job with full protection of their position at work upon their return. However, there are several exceptions to the law, providing employees who leave no such legal protection of their job status.
There are certain thresholds in place to protect small businesses that cannot handle the strain of losing an employee for a maximum of 12 weeks out of a year. This law does not affect employers who have fewer than 50 employees. However, there are certain exemptions to this employee threshold, namely in terms of educators and workers in public agencies.
Other workers considered non-eligible include part-time workers who have clocked in fewer than 1,250 hours while working in over the year prior to time off. This does require a part-time worker to, at the very least, work for a particular employer for at least one year before he or she may benefit from the Family and Medical Leave Act.
In addition to these exceptions to the law, there are some less well-defined situations that may make a worker non-eligible for protected time away from work. Particularly, workers who tend to their pets are not granted job protection. If an ailment is short-term, relatively common, and does not drastically damage a person’s health, they may not be permitted these protections. Also, if a routine visit to physician is scheduled during work hours, an employer does not need to honor the Family Medical Leave Act.
For more information regarding what is and what is not allowed under this law, contact an employment lawyer.