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Employees should know their right to FMLA leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows qualified employees to take time away from work to address certain medical and family-related needs, such as the birth of a child, without fear of losing their job. Florida employers bear the responsibility of making sure they understand their employees' right to this type of leave and that they do not inadvertently violate these rights. Employees will also find it beneficial to know what to do if they need time away from work and whether it qualifies as FMLA leave.

This specific law provides many types of workers the ability to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in order to address certain needs related to medical concerns or family matters. This applies to employers who have more than 50 employees, and the employee has to have worked at least 1,250 hours within the last year leading up to requesting time off. These are the general requirements, but there are some exceptions. 

An employee may ask for FMLA leave after the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a sick immediate family member, to care for a spouse with a serious medical condition, to recover from a serious health concern or to provide support to a family member in the military with an injury or illness. A Florida employer should provide a notice of FMLA rights, and an employee should provide notice of leave. It is also helpful to document the reason for needing time off and any problems that arise, such as a denial of leave from the employer.

A violation an employee's right to FMLA leave could be grounds for a civil claim. An employee who believes he or she may have a case will find it beneficial to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A thorough evaluation of the case may reveal what legal options are available.  

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