Life is full of unexpected events, such as accidents and disease. Sometimes, family emergencies make it impossible for an employee to work for an extended period of time. If you find yourself in a situation like this, you may be wondering what your rights are and what you can expect in terms of job protection and extended leave. Here’s what to know about taking family medical leave in Florida for both public and private employees.
If you are a public employee (meaning that you work for a Florida state governmental entity or in a governmental office, Florida law guarantees you the right to take family medical leave for up to six months.
You can use this leave of absence for parental leave if you have or adopt a new child into your family. You can also use it to take care of a family member who has a serious disease, is undergoing a surgery, has had an accident, or otherwise will need you to stay by them and provide care for them while they recover – or if you yourself need this recovery time.
Most private employees can also count on job protected family leave for medical emergencies. This is because of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which guarantees the right to take FMLA leave for employees of qualifying companies.
Before requesting FMLA, make sure that your company is required to give it to you under the statute. FLMA applies to companies that have had at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks of this or last year. However, even if your company does not qualify under FMLA, you might still be able to negotiate job protected leave with your employer if you explain the circumstances.
Knowing that you have a guarantee of the ability to return to your current position if you have to take extended family medical leave can grant you a measure of peace of mind as you focus on helping your loved one to overcome their medical condition, or as you welcome a new loved one into your family.