FMLA gives eligible employees of a covered employer
the right to take unpaid leave, for
a period of up to 12 work weeks in any 12-month period. FMLA leave
is contingent upon the following factors:
allows eligible employees to take leave for the following reasons:
of the birth of a child or the placement of a child for adoption
or foster care;
Because the employee is needed
to care for a family member (child, spouse, or parent) with a serious health
Because the employee's own serious
health condition makes the employee unable to do his/her job.
satisfy ALL of the following conditions:
The employee has been employed
by the employer for at least 12 months (whether consecutive or not);
The employee worked (as defined
under the Fair Labor Standards' Act) at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month
period immediately preceding the leave; and
At the time leave
is requested, the employee is employed at a work site where 50 or more
employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles of the work
A COBRA qualifying event is not triggered until either
the end of the 12-week FMLA leave period or, if earlier, when the employee
makes it known that he/she will not be returning to work. Therefore,
a COBRA qualifying event occurs on the last day of FMLA.
Twelve Month Period Determined for FMLA
An employer may choose the method for determining
the twelve month period. Most employers calculate it on a rolling
year basis starting at the time the FMLA leave begins.
notify the employee of the FMLA leave designation within two business
days of learning the leave is being taken for an FMLA purpose; and
notice may be oral, but must be confirmed in writing ("Employer Response
to Employee Request for Family Medical Leave" Form).
the need is foreseeable, the employee must give the employer at least
thirty days' advance notice before FMLA leave is to begin; or
the need is not foreseeable, notice must be given as soon as practical
(1-2 business days of when the need for leave becomes known to the
Can require the employee to present medical
documentation to which the employee has at least fifteen calendar days to
comply. The “Certification of Health Care Provider” Form
outlines the maximum medical information that may be required for FMLA leave.
FMLA does not require continuation of non-health
benefits but all the employee’s benefits must be restored to their previous
status upon return to work. If a lapse occurs, the employer cannot
require current evidence of insurability or exclude coverage for conditions
while the employee was on FMLA leave and not covered by the plan.
Health Insurance Administration
an employee fails to pay his/her share of the health insurance premium
during leave, the regulations permit the employer to cancel their insurance.
is a required minimum grace period of thirty days and the employer must
send a written notice of the cancellation at least fifteen days before
the employee returns to work, health insurance must be restored without
an employer elects to continue health coverage for an employee by paying
the employee's share and the employee fails to return to work at the
end of FMLA leave, the employer may recover all of the health benefit
it paid for group health coverage (both the employer's share and the
employee's share) during the period of unpaid FMLA leave.
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