Family Medical Leave Act


The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permits qualifying employees to take unpaid leave to care for their own or a close family member’s serious health condition, without risking losing their job. In Connecticut, there are both federal and state FMLA laws.

The federal FMLA, signed into law in 1993, requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide those workers 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave for qualifying medical or family reasons and not risk losing their job. Connecticut workers are covered by the federal FMLA, but also may be covered by Connecticut’s FMLA. This law says that if your company employs 75 or more people within a 75-mile radius, and if you’ve worked there at least 1,000 hours in the last 12 months, you can take up to 16 weeks of FMLA leave in a two-year period.

The FMLA leave time need not be consecutive under both federal and Connecticut laws. So, you can take your 12 or 16 weeks of leave time intermittently, using it only when necessary. The law also requires the employer to provide health insurance on the same terms as the employee had when the employee was at work. In addition, when the FMLA leave is over, the employer must give the employee the same job position, with the same seniority and benefits.

To take FMLA leave, you or an immediate family member—spouse, child, or parent—has to have a serious health condition. That includes illness, injury, or other condition requiring hospitalization or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider. Three days in a row of incapacity is also generally required. FMLA leave can also be taken for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of an employee’s child.

If you think you’re entitled to FMLA leave and your employer has discouraged your from taking it, or outright refused it, or if you fear your employer might punish you, or your employer has in fact punished you for taking it, please contact us immediately for a confidential consultation.

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