Leave laws are put in place to govern how employers allow their employees to take time off from work. These laws govern both paid and unpaid leave. A well-versed employment law attorney can ensure that you are following all laws that are appropriate for your business, including applicable state and federal laws. Employment leave laws may include the following:
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The most important leave law is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which gives employees job security when they are dealing with health-related caregiver duties that may prevent them from working their normal schedules. THE FMLA mandates that companies that employ 50 or more workers must give qualifying employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the following scenarios.
- Care for or birth of a worker’s child
- Adoption or foster care placement of a child with the worker
- Performing caregiver responsibilities for an immediate family member with a severe medical condition
- Self-care of the employee who has a serious health condition
To be eligible for FMLA, the employee must have been employed at least 12 months at the company. Furthermore, the employee must have performed at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately before the day FMLA leave starts.
Military Leave Laws
Companies are often required to provide leave for workers with military duties. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects military service men and women. The law protects those who may voluntarily or involuntarily have to leave their civilian jobs to serve in the military. According to the Military.com, service members must satisfy five criteria to qualify for reemployment under this law, which are:
- You ensure that your employer receives advance written or verbal notice of your service;
- You have five years or less of cumulative service in the uniformed services while with that particular employer;
- You return to work or apply for reemployment in a timely manner after conclusion of service; and
- You have not been separated from service with a disqualifying discharge or under other than honorable conditions.
Holiday leave is a luxury for many employees. Holiday leave allows workers to take time off during certain holidays that they would otherwise be required to be on the job. There is holiday leave for state and federal employees. Some of these holidays will be paid time off, while others may be unpaid.
When someone dies, time is often taken off to grieve the loss, prepare a eulogy, or attend the funeral. Most companies give employees time off to grieve the loss of a close relative (child, spouse, or parent). At present, there are no laws that require an employer to give paid or unpaid leave for the death of a family member. The choice is left up to the individual company. However, companies that respect and care about their employees will usually grant time off for the loss of a close loved one, and often with pay.
There are many different types of leave laws, and they may be difficult to understand. A knowledgeable employment law attorney can explain these laws and how they apply to your company. Furthermore, your attorney can ensure that you are following the applicable laws that will keep you from experiencing any lawsuits that might develop due to negligence or misunderstanding. Staying up-to-date on leave laws will keep you and your employees happy.