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Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is an integral tool for employed individuals with diabetes, providing rights and remedies for both individuals and their families. The FMLA is a broad, encompassing statute, with its complexities masked by “employee” and “employer”, seemingly self-explanatory words. 

FMLA coverage depends on whether an employer is actually an “employer” under the act. According to the FMLA, an “employer” is any “person engaged in commerce or in any industry or activity affecting commerce who employs 50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar work-weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.”  The FMLA also considers an “employer” as “any such person who acts, directly or indirectly, in the interest of such employer to any of the employees of such employer,” “any successor in interest of an employer,” and the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) public agencies. 

An “employee” is an individual who (1) has worked for an “employer” for 12 months, not necessarily consecutively, (2) has actually worked for 1250 or more hours during the 12 months, not just been compensated for 1250 hours of work, and (3) has worked at a site where the “employer” employed more than 50 “employees” within a 75 mile radius.  Further, an “employee” must provide his or her “employer” with 30 days- notice that he or she will be requiring an FMLA leave of absence, if foreseeable, or as soon as is practicable, if unforeseeable.

If an individual meets the requirements of an “employee” and worked for an “employer”, the FMLA provides protection of up to 12 weeks (within 12 months) of intermittent or continuous unpaid leave of absence for the employee's own medical condition or the medical condition of an immediate family member of the employee.  Upon return from leave, the “employee” is guaranteed placement in his or her old job, or an equivalent job. This leave of absence is meant for inpatient care, doctor appointments, or medical episodes required by or resultant from a “serious health condition.”  A “serious health condition” is established when the employee's health care provider completes the certification form provided by the United States Department of Labor.   

An individual can be certified as having a “serious health condition” within, among others, Category 4 of the healthcare certification form.  Category 4, Chronic Conditions Requiring Treatment, includes chronic conditions which:

(1)  Require[s] periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider, or by a nurse or physician's assistant under direct supervision of a health care provider;

(2)  Continue[s] over an extended period of time (including recurring episodes of a single underlying condition); and

(3)  May cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.). 

Complaints under the Family and Medical Leave Act must be filed within two years directly in court.

This site is sponsored by Morgan & Paul, PLLC, a law firm representing individuals and families in disability, employment and injury cases. For more information, visit www.morgan-paul.com or call at 1-888-967-5674. Offices in California, Pennsylvania and Texas

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ERISA Experience

Greg Paul has 18 years experience fighting for long-term disability benefits against insurance companies such as Aetna, CIGNA, Guardian, Hartford, Liberty Mutual, Mutual of Omaha, Principal, Prudential, Reliance Standard, Standard, Sun Life, and Unum.