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What is the purpose of FMLA?

The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 protects employees who need medical leave to deal with a serious health condition, including pregnancy, for themselves or a family member.

FMLA protections

FMLA gives you up to 12 weeks a year of unpaid leave for your own serious health condition, care of an immediate family member for a serious health condition, birth and care of a newborn child, adoption or foster care of a child, circumstances related to the deployment or return from deployment of an immediate family member.

Qualifying employers and employees

However, the Family Medical Leave Act does not cover all employers or all employees.

Employers who have 50 or more qualifying employees within a 74-mile radius for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year. To qualify as an employee, the worker must have been employed with a qualifying employer for at least 12 months and worked 1,250 hours during that time.

FMLA violations

Practices that are illegal under the FMLA include, refusing FMLA leave, interfering with an employee's right to take FMLA, terminating an employee after taking FMLA leave or making changes to the position after the employee returns from FMLA leave

If you do experience any of these illegal practices, you have a two-year statute of limitations from the denial or retaliation to file a claim.

Arizona state law

Employees are also protected by state law under Arizona’s Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act. The Act provides employees paid sick leave at the rate of one hour of leave for every 20 hours worked. Employers with fewer than 15 employees must provide 24 hours annually, while employers with 15 employees or more must provide a minimum of 40 hours per year. To qualify, employees must have been employed for 12 months during which they worked 1,250 hours.

My Office Can Advise You of Your Rights

If you believe your employer has violated your FMLA rights, contact my office for a consultation. We’ll help you determine if you have a viable claim, gather evidence, and hold your employer accountable for any wrongdoing.


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