Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you are entitled to take up to twelve (12) weeks of time off to seek treatment for or because of a serious health condition.
This entitlement applies to employees who have been employed with the company for more than one year and who have worked over 1250 hours within that year. However, the company must have at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius.
You can use the FMLA for time off for your own serious health condition, the care of a parent, spouse or child with a serious health condition, or the birth and care of your newborn, adopted or foster child.
Under the FMLA, a serious health condition is a physical or mental condition that requires continuing treatments (two or more visits to a healthcare provider) or inpatient care. You do not have to be diagnosed with a condition at the time you request the leave. If you have a condition where you have previously had an overnight stay in a hospital and you have been treated two or more times by a healthcare provider, that results in a regimen of treatment, you have a “serious health condition” that is covered under FMLA.
You are also covered under FMLA if you are pregnant and cannot work because of it. Additionally, you are covered if you have a condition where you have had treatment two or more times by or under the supervision of a healthcare provider, and you are unable to work for more than three consecutive days because of that condition. Also, if you have a condition which is permanent or long term and which does not usually respond to treatment, you are covered under the FMLA. Furthermore, you are covered under the FMLA for any period of absence to receive multiple treatments by a healthcare provider for a situation which, if not treated, would have resulted in a period of incapacitation of more than three consecutive calendar days.
Under the FMLA, you need to tell your employer that you need time off for a condition that might qualify for FMLA protection. Once the employer has this notice, the employer is obligated to determine whether you have a condition that is covered under the FMLA. You are not required to disclose confidential medical records unless your employer requests it.
Your employer is required to keep your job open and available to you for a total of 12 weeks. However, the 12 weeks does not have to be consecutive. You cannot be fired for requesting leave or taking time off under the FMLA.