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Family Law and the Family and Medical Leave Act


Family is one of the most important things in life.  Ensuring that your rights and that your family’s rights are protected is paramount. Certain unfortunate tragedies and circumstances can substantially alter our normal course of life, and without legal protection, employers would be able to terminate employees if they requested substantial amounts of leave.  When you need to take care of a child, a parent, or yourself for a substantial amount of time, the federal government determined that you are afforded legal protection. The federal government enacted the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and solidified your right, under specific circumstances, to up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year.  Learn more about how your family and your rights can be protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Employee Rights

You have a right as an employee to request FMLA to take care of your family, or yourself, if you meet the following conditions:  you worked for your current employer for at least 12 months, you have worked at least 1,250 hours in those past 12 months, and you work for an employer that has 50 or more employees.

Mothers and fathers are protected under the FMLA equally under the law.  Some instances where FMLA leave may be taken to care for your family is as follows:

  • Women oftentimes take FMLA leave after the birth of a child, or the adoption of a child. However, note that if you take off any time BEFORE the birth of a child, due to pregnancy complication, it may be counted against your 12 weeks of FMLA leave.
  • Fares are also allowed to take leave under the FMLA. There is a right under FMLA that a father may also take leave from work in order to care for their newborn child or newly adopted child.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settled conclusively that fathers have full FMLA rights to leave to take care of their family, and also to take care of a newborn child, or newly adopted child.
  • Military families already face so many hardships and stressors. FMLA has now included family leave that provides specific legal protections needed by military families.

Family and Medical Leave Act Details

Under most circumstances, FMLA requires employers to allow employees to take unpaid leave for medical or family-related reasons.  Due to the fact that this time is already stressful, the federal government included a section that required employers to also maintain health insurance for the employee during the time they take their FMLA leave.

FMLA applies to the following: companies with 50 or more employees, all public and private elementary and secondary schools and all public agencies. In an effort to protect a family’s ability to care for each other under stressful circumstances, FMLA states that an eligible employee may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every single year for any of the following reasons:

  • Birth and care of a newborn child of an employee;
  • Newly placed child for adoption or foster care of an employee;
  • Care for an immediate family member (i.e., spouse, child, or parent) with any serious health condition; or
  • Medical leave for the employee due to a serious health condition.

Contact an Attorney Today

We practice family law to ensure your rights are protected when life circumstances prove complicated or overwhelming.  Whether it is the joy of a child, or the challenges of a sick family member, your rights as an employee to take care of yourself and your family are protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  If your legal rights under the FMLA were denied contact one of our experienced Fort Lauderdale family attorneys today to discuss your rights.  Schedule a consultation with a lawyer at the office of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. at 954-467-6656 or online today.  Your initial consultation is always free.





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