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What is the FMLA, and who is protected by it?

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (and similar enactments operative in the states, including in Maryland and Virginia) is protective legislation of great importance to many American workers dealing with serious injuries that require their temporary absence from the workplace.

Although we have addressed some of the central features of this foundational statutory law in select prior blog posts (please see our entry dated October 24, 2014, for example), it is certainly worthwhile to revisit them, given the likelihood that many workers -- and employers, as well -- lack detailed information concerning FMLA processes and provisions.

An initial question to pose concerning the FMLA is whether it applies to all employers across the country.

Indeed, it does not, but an online analysis of the FMLA provided by a national provider of legal information reveals that the term "covered employer" is quite inclusive. Any worker wondering whether his or her employer is bound by the FMLA can obtain prompt and accurate information, as well as diligent representation, from a proven employment attorney.

A second key question is this: How much leave can a covered employee take?

An employee with a bona-fide need (more on that below) can take up to 12 weeks leave within a one-year period.

The qualifying reasons for FMLA absence from the workplace are of course centrally important. In broadly stated terms, they cover things like birth-related matters, the care of a family member with a serious health issue, and time needed to attend to an employee's own health concerns that render him or her unable to work.

The FMLA is a lifeline for many workers across the country who have serious family-related matters to deal with. Questions or concerns relating to the law can be comprehensively addressed by an experienced employees' rights attorney.

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