The Family and Medical Leave Act gives eligible employees the right to take a limited amount of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.
“Job-protected” leave generally means at the end of your leave period, your employer is required to return you to your same or a comparable position.
To qualify for FMLA leave, you generally need to have your job for at least a year and work at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. In addition, your employer must have at least 50 employees.
The FMLA allows up to 26 workweeks of military caregiver leave, that is, to care for certain service members in your family with serious injuries or illnesses.
Importantly, the law prohibits your employer from interfering with your FMLA rights or punishing you for taking FMLA leave. This generally means that when you return from bona fide FMLA leave, your employer must place you back in your old position or an equivalent position in terms of pay and benefits. If you have group health insurance, your employer is required to maintain that insurance during your FMLA leave.