The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is one of the most important pieces of law for Texas workers. The FMLA is a federal law that allows workers in all 50 states to take time off work for certain events or unforeseen situations. While many states have their own state laws that accompany the FMLA, all states are required to uphold the FMLA. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the FMLA, along with some helpful guidelines for Texas workers.
Who Qualifies for FMLA Coverage?
The FMLA applies to all employers who have 50 or more workers for at least 20 weeks in the last or current year. Under the provisions of the FMLA, employees are eligible to take time off if they meet the following requirements:
- At least one year employment with same company
- Worked at least 1,250 hours during the past 12 months
- Worked at a location with a minimum of 50 employees in a 75-mile radius
What Reasons for Leave Does the FMLA Cover?
The FMLA offers coverage for workers who meet the above requirements, and who experience a life event requiring their undivided and immediate attention. The most common reasons for leave that are covered by the FMLA include:
- Birth of a child
- Recuperation after a serious medical condition
- Caring for a family member who has a serious medical condition
- Handling issues arising from military service of the worker, or his or her family
- Caring for a family member who was injured during military service
What Does the FMLA Do?
Coverage under the FMLA allows workers to take the leave that they need without losing their health insurance or position within their company. Employers cannot terminate a worker who has taken FMLA covered leave on the basis of his or her absence as covered by federal law.
Under the FMLA, workers are entitled to up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period. The 12 week leave renews at the end of each 12-month period. Workers who are in the military, or who are caring for a family member injured during military service may qualify for 26 weeks of leave within a 12-month period. This type of leave does not renew at the end of 12 months.
Texas Laws and the FMLA
Qualifying Texas workers are entitled to the same coverage under the FMLA as those of any other state. In addition to the FMLA, Texas has certain provisions for workers who require leave. Further, Texas law addresses specific situations and life events that may result in leave, and how employers should manage them. Texas law recognizes the following types of leave:
- Parental Leave
- Sick Leave
- Emergency Leave
- School Visits
- Medical Donations
- Military Leave
Depending on your position at your job, the amount of time you have worked there, and the cumulative hours amassed, your ability to obtain leave without jeopardizing your position and benefits may vary.
Determining how the FMLA could help you, as well as what state laws are applicable to your situation is best done with the help of a Texas labor and employment attorney. Contact Daic Law to learn more about our labor and employment services, including representation in cases involving FMLA and state leave, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour disputes.