What is FMLA?
FMLA stands for Family Leave Medical Act, and it is generally regarded as the bare minimum of employee provisions in developed nations. FMLA is intended to provide a measure relief for employees needing extended time away from their workplace or employer to medically care for a direct family member. For example, the United States has yet to incorporate paid maternity or paternity leave as a standard, but one may use FMLA as a way to take time away from work to bond with their child.
As such, FMLA claims in Illinois are a viable strategy for getting the time off that you may need in response to a sick family member for whom you must provide care or as a parent of a newborn.
Conditions of Medical Leave Under FMLA
Any Illinois company with greater than 50 employees is required to adhere to FMLA claims in Illinois; the question is, what does this provide you? This means that you will receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without fear of employment termination. However, as mentioned, FMLA leave is unpaid leave. You cannot expect to be paid for the time off.
Your eligible absence must be for the following reasons:
- caretaker for an ill child, spouse or parent
- to look after your own newborn child
- to take care of an adopted child or foster care ward
- to obtain help for any complications resulting from a pregnancy
- to take care of yourself if you are struck by a prolonged illness
FMLA claims in Illinois protects you against an employer who would otherwise try and count the 12 weeks (or fewer) as vacation time or other; your boss must maintain your current title, duties, salary and other essential aspects of your employment during your time off for any of the above issues. This even extends to maintaining a group health insurance plan provided by your employer.
Understanding Family Leave in Illinois
For a 12-month period, no matter what health condition you or a family member has, you are guaranteed unpaid leave by Illinois law. To fully understand everything involved in the event of taking such a decision, contact a seasoned Illinois attorney to walk you comprehensively through the details – especially if you have a claim against an employer.