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Jul 13, 1998

What exactly is FMLA? How do I know if I should use it? Where can I get more information?

Response from Ms. Franzoi

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was effective August 5,1993. FMLA requires employers covered by the act to provide up to 12 weeks of leave per year for an employee's serious illness, the birth, adoption or foster care of a child, or to care for a sick spouse, child or parent. Employers can require medical certification before granting the leave for the employee's own illness. If possible, the employee must provide 30 days advance notice or if 30 days is not possible, as much advance notice as possible must be given. Employers must continue group health benefits for employees on FMLA at the same cost active employees pay.

To be eligible to be covered, an employee must first work for an employer who is covered at a worksite that is covered. The law applies to private, not-for-profit and public employers and to Congress with at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius. Then there is a service requirement: 1,250 hours of service during the previous 12 months and at least 12 months of employment (which do not have to be consecutive).

Hopefully, this will help you determine if you are eligible for such a leave. I suggest you contact your Personnel Department regarding FMLA. More information can be obtained from the Department of Labor..

Lynn Franzoi

SS Benefits & Retraining

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