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Family and Medical Leave Act

What Are My Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

You have the right to take up to 12 weeks of time off to seek treatment for or because of a serious health condition. If you have been employed with the company for more than one year and you have worked over 1250 hours in that year, you are an eligible employee. You must work for a company that has at least 50 employees in a 75-mile radius.

Can I Take FMLA Time for Myself?

The FMLA allows for you to take time off for your own serious health condition, the care of your parent, spouse, or child with a serious health condition, or the birth and care of your newborn, adopted, or foster child.

What Is a Serious Health Condition?

The FMLA covers most physical and mental conditions, except minor ones, such as colds, the flu, or an upset stomach. Under the FMLA, a serious health condition is a physical or mental condition that requires continuing treatment (which means two or more visits to a health care provider) or inpatient care (which means an overnight stay in the hospital). You do not have to be diagnosed with the condition at the time for your request for leave. Additionally, although some people might think that you must have a health condition that is “serious” to qualify, you need only have a condition that has either been treated in the past by a doctor or a condition for which you had previously been hospitalized. You can take time off to either seek medical treatment, or if the time off itself is needed to recover from the condition — even if you don’t seek medical treatment at that time.

If you have a condition where you have previously had an overnight stay in a hospital and you have had treatment two or more times by a health care provider or one treatment by a health care provider that results in a regimen of treatment, you have a “serious health condition” that is covered under the FMLA.

If you are pregnant and unable to work because of it, you have a “serious health condition” that is covered under the FMLA. Maternity leave falls under this act, in order to get paid during your family leave find out what your company offers for short-term disability.

If you have a condition where you have had treatment two or more times by or under the supervision of a health care provider, and you are unable to work for more than three consecutive days because of that condition, you have a “serious health condition” that is covered under the FMLA.

If you have a condition that is permanent or long-term and that doesn’t usually respond to treatment, you have a “serious health condition” that is covered under the FMLA.

Additionally, any period of absence to receive multiple treatments by a health care provider (including recovery time) for a situation that, if not treated, would have resulted in a period of incapacity (meaning being unable to work or do other daily activities) for more than three consecutive calendar days, you have a “serious health condition” that is covered under the FMLA.

What Kind of Notice Must I Give to My Employer Under the FMLA?

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you only need to tell your employer that you need time off for a condition that might meet FMLA qualifications. Clearly, the best course of action would simply be to use the words “Family and Medical Leave Act,” but you are not required to do so. Once the employer has enough notice that you are requesting time for a condition that might be covered, it is the employer’s obligation to take the next steps to determine whether your request for time off is covered by FMLA laws. If you have informed your employer that your time off is due to a medical condition, then that is proper notice to the employer, and the burden then shifts to the employer to request certification, if it feels it needs to do so.

Do I Have to Give My Employer My Confidential Medical Information?

You are not required to disclose your confidential medical information, unless your employer requests it from you. If your employer requests certification, however, you must provide it. Your employer can also require that you supplement this information if you are out for an extended period of time.

Do I Have to Give 30 Days’ Notice?

The FMLA says that you must give as much notice as is practicable. In some circumstances, you may be able to give at least 30 days’ notice — such as for the adoption of a child or for a surgery or other medical treatment that has been planned. The law allows you, however, to simply provide the time and duration of your leave to your employer. The more time you give, the more time the employer has to accommodate your leave request.

What Happens to My Job If I Take FMLA Leave?

Your employer is required to keep your job open and available to you for the entire 12-week period. You must be placed back into your position or an equivalent position. You cannot be fired for requesting medical leave or taking time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The FMLA Attorneys of Barrett & Farahany have helping employees in Atlanta and the surrounding area for over a decade with their employment issues. Locations served: Sandy Springs, Marietta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Buckhead, and many more. All consultations with an attorney are at no charge. If you believe you have a valid FMLA complaint or an issue regarding your FMLA eligibility, please contact us at your earliest convenience.


  • Justice at Work. ® • Phone:
    1100 PEACHTREE ST NE # 500ATLANTA, GA 30309-4501

    Barrett & Farahany, Attorneys at Law, are located in Atlanta, GA and serve clients in and around Decatur, Atlanta, Scottdale, Clarkston, Avondale Estates, Pine Lake, Stone Mountain, Tucker, Smyrna, Conley, Marietta, Mableton, Forest Park, Ellenwood, Red Oak, Austell, Lithia Springs, Morrow, Lithonia, Rex, Riverdale, Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County and Douglas County.

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