Am I Eligible for a Leave of Absence in Michigan?

No matter how much careful planning you put into your daily life, unexpected twists and turns are bound to happen. Some will be more significant than others and may even drastically affect your life in a long-term way. In instances like these, Michigan employees are granted leaves of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act, known as FMLA. If you find yourself in need of legal services related to leaves of absence, a Marquette FMLA lawyer can help.

A leave of absence allows employees to take time off during extenuating circumstances. A leave will often be significantly longer than paid time off or vacations. Under federal law, leaves can last up to 12 weeks throughout a year, as long as the employee meets the requirements set under the FMLA. Employers can also offer voluntary leave in addition to the time that is already federally mandated. In this case, the qualifications and length of time allowed will be left to their discretion.

How Does FMLA Work in Michigan?

The FMLA was passed in 1993 and is a federal law that requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period. Because it is a federal mandate, employees throughout the United States are covered, including Michigan. The FMLA applies to all public agencies such as local, state, and federal employers, as well as local school districts. It also applies to private-sector employers given that they have 50 or more employees working for a minimum of 20 weeks in the last or current year. FMLA is not paid leave but it does protect your job as it requires that upon your return to work, you will be reinstated to your role or a comparable role.

After figuring out if you are qualified for a leave of absence, you can apply online and if applicable have a treating physician complete an FMLA certification.

What Qualifications Are There for a Leave of Absence?

To benefit from the FMLA, several requirements must be met. To meet these requirements, an employee must:

  • Have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months
  • Have a minimum of 1,250 work hours over the past 12 months
  • Work for a company that operates within 75 miles of 50 or more employees

Once these requirements have been met, an employee is eligible to apply for a leave of absence. There are specified instances that are recognized as valid reasons to take a leave. Those reasons include the following.

  • Parental leave (Parental leave is gender-neutral and refers to the first year after the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child)
  • Medical leave (Due to a serious health condition)
  • Care for an immediate family member (Immediate family includes a spouse, child, or parent)
  • Military caregiver leave (Provide care for an immediate family member serving in the military who is seriously injured or sick. This also may apply if the employee is next of kin to the servicemember)
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