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Questions to answer before taking family medical leave

FMLA, also known as the Family and Medical Leave Act, is a federal law that gives certain employees the right to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave without the fear of job loss.

If you want to take family medical leave, such as to care for a newborn child or ill spouse, there are some questions you should first answer. These include but are not limited to:

-- Are you eligible for FMLA through your employer?

-- Does your situation qualify you to take FMLA?

-- Will you get paid during your FMLA leave?

-- Can you use other types of leave to count toward your FMLA leave?

-- Do you have to provide your employer with medical records if requested?

-- Are there laws associated with what you can do while you are away from work on FMLA leave?

-- Is an employer covered by FMLA able to refuse my request for a leave?

-- Is it possible to lose my job while taking an FMLA leave?

-- Is an employer permitted to terminate a worker if he or she complains about an FMLA violation?

-- Can an FMLA leave have an impact on salary, bonuses, and other financial compensation?

Some of these questions may be easy for you to answer. Others are much more involved, meaning that you will have to dig around for information.

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a good thing. If you qualify for this type of leave and need to take advantage, make sure you know your rights as well as what to expect from your employer.

Source: FindLaw, "What is FMLA? FAQ on Federal Leave Law," accessed Nov. 23, 2015

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