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Taking care of your family and health is very important. Sometimes, you might need to take time off work to do this. If you work in Arizona, you’re in luck! The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can help. This law lets employees take unpaid leave for serious health or family reasons. Let’s explore how it works, who it covers, and what steps you need to follow.

What is the FMLA?

The FMLA is a special law that allows employees to take up to 12 weeks off work in a year without getting paid but with a promise that their job will be waiting for them when they come back. You can use this time off to care for a sick family member, recover from your own illness, or welcome a new child into your family. Every year, you can ask for this leave again if you still meet the rules.

Who Can Use FMLA?

Not everyone can use FMLA. It’s mostly for people who work at bigger companies. Here are the rules:

  • Your workplace must have 50 or more employees.
  • These employees should work within 75 miles of where you work.
  • You must have worked there for at least a year.
  • You need to have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last year.

If you fit all these conditions, you can probably use FMLA.

When Can You Use FMLA?

There are specific reasons you can take FMLA leave:

  • If you need to take care of your husband, wife, child, or parent who is very sick.
  • If you just had a baby or brought a new child into your home through adoption or foster care.
  • If you’re sick and need a lot of time off to get better.
  • If your close family member is in the military and needs your support.

How to Ask for FMLA

It’s best to tell your boss you need time off about 30 days before, if you can. But, if something unexpected happens, just tell them as soon as possible. Your boss will show you what paperwork you need to fill out to get your leave.

Coming Back to Work

After your FMLA leave, you should be able to return to your job or a very similar one, with the same pay and benefits as before. This means you won’t have to worry about losing your job because you needed some time off for a serious reason.

Remember, taking care of your health and family is really important, and FMLA is there to help you do that without worrying about your job. If you think you need FMLA, talk to your HR department or manager to start the process.

J. Horowitz
J. Horowitz

J. Horowitz leverages over two decades of experience as a seasoned employment law attorney in Arizona to offer insightful freelance writing on the same subject. After a successful career advocating for fairness and justice in the workplace, J. now dedicates his expertise to writing comprehensive articles, blog posts, and thought leadership pieces that illuminate the complexities of employment law.