Greg Boles
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Partner at The Boles Firm | Experience Matters

If you are working for an employer covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act you are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain types of medical and family matters.

If you are receiving Pennsylvania workers' compensation benefits, your leave pursuant to the FMLA may run concurrently. Because there is nothing in the Pennsylvania workers' compensation act to protect your employment, once you have exhausted your FMLA time, your employer will no longer have an obligation to keep your position open. Because many unionized employers provide for greater protection, union members should check their contacts.

The FMLA applies to private sector employers with 50 or more employees and 20 or more workweeks in the previous year, public agencies, and public or private elementary or secondary schools.  For you to qualify, you must not only work for an employer covered by the FMLA, you must have worked at least 1,250 hours of service during the previous 1‑year period, and must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months.  Furthermore, if you are working for a private sector employer, you have to work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

Examples of situations in which you can take up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12‑month period are the birth of a child, the caring of a spouse, child or parent for a serious health condition, a health condition that prevents you from performing the essential functions of your job, and certain incidents arising out of the fact that a family member may be on active duty or could be called to that status. If you are caring for someone in your immediate family who is a qualifying servicemember and is suffering from a serious illness or injury, you may take up to 26 weeks leave.

There are other circumstances in which you can take FMLA time, including intermittent family and medical leave.

Your use of FMLA time cannot be counted against you under a "no-fault" attendance policy.  Furthermore, you are entitled to continued group health coverage under FMLA leave under the same terms and conditions as if you had not taken leave.

For more information on your entitlement to leave under the FMLA, click here.