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FMLA Attorney in Silver Spring
Upholding the Family & Medical Leave Act in Maryland & Washington D.C.
Employment law in the United States has come a long way. With the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, covered employers have had to recognize that employees have critical needs outside of work—families to take care of, children to raise, medical needs to address, and more.
At Emejuru Law, our attorney works tirelessly to protect clients’ rights and access to the benefits guaranteed by the FMLA. We can help you understand these rights and hold an employer accountable if they have somehow undermined or interfered with your guaranteed time-off.
Are You Covered by the FMLA?
Unfortunately, not every employee has the automatic right to the job-protected leave of absence outlined by the FMLA.
The FMLA applies to employment through the following entities:
- Public agencies
- Public elementary and secondary schools
- Private elementary and secondary schools
- Companies with 50 or more employees
To access the benefits of the FMLA, you must have worked for one of the above employers for at least one year (and for at least 1,250 hours over the last year). At your location, the company must have employed at least 50 employees within 75 miles. If you are unsure whether you are covered by the FMLA, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Your Rights Under the FMLA
If you are covered by the FMLA, you have the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. This leave is job-protected, meaning you will not have to worry about termination (or even a demotion or transfer) if you choose to take this time off. While the leave is unpaid, your employer must maintain your group health insurance coverage during your leave without changing the terms or conditions.
You are eligible to take this unpaid leave if:
- You are caring for a newborn child (within one year of their birth);
- You are caring for a child whom you have just adopted or taken into foster care (within one year of adoption or placement);
- You are caring for your spouse, child, or parent because they have a serious health condition;
- You cannot perform essential elements of your job because you have a serious health condition; and/or
- You have qualifying family needs arising from the fact that your spouse, child, or parent is on covered active duty as a military servicemember.
Alternatively, you may be able to take a total of 26 weeks of unpaid leave during a single year if you are caring for a servicemember who has a serious injury or illness. This is called military caregiver leave.
To qualify for this extended leave, you must be caring for a servicemember who is your:
- Parent; or
- Next of kin.
The FMLA helps ensure equal employment opportunities for both men and women, helping employees fulfill both their work and family responsibilities. It is critical that your employer adheres to your rights under this legislation.