Understanding FMLA

The Oklahoma Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is similar to the federal FMLA. It allows eligible employees to take unpaid leave from work for up to 12 weeks per year for certain family and medical reasons, including the birth or adoption of a child, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, or the employee’s own serious health condition. To be eligible, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months. The Oklahoma FMLA also provides job protection for employees who take leave under the act. However, it does not require employers to provide paid leave or maintain employee benefits while they are on leave.

It can be a challenge to understand the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy. FMLA is a federal law that requires employers to grant leave for family and medical circumstances and to reinstate the employee in the same or an equivalent position upon the conclusion of the leave.

Under FMLA, there are six circumstances under which an employee may take leave. These circumstances are listed below:

  1. Birth of a son or daughter and to care for the newborn child.
  2. Placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care.
  3. Care of a spouse, son, daughter or parent with a serious health condition.
  4. A serious health condition of the employee that makes him/her unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job.
  5. A qualifying emergency for families of members of the Regular Armed Forces, National Guard, and Reserves when the covered military member is on active duty or called to active duty in support of a contingency operation in a foreign country.
  6. Care of a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next-of-kin covered service member with a serious illness or injury incurred in the line of duty on active duty.

For circumstances 1-5 above, the employee may use up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave in a 12-month period. For circumstance 6, the employee may use up to 26 weeks in a single 12-month period. FMLA is separate from “sick leave”.

In the event of any conflict between this policy and the applicable law, employees will be afforded all rights required by law.

Policy from OMES https://oklahoma.gov/content/dam/ok/en/omes/documents/FMLA.pdf

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