Employers in Florida must allow eligible employees a leave of absence from their positions under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if they have at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks during the current or previous year. Eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of leave during a 12 month period. Additionally, employees are entitled to be reinstated at their jobs in the same or ‘equivalent’ position with a few exceptions. This means that your boss can’t fire you just for taking your rightful medical leave. You’re also entitled to continue with your health insurance while on leave.
Reasons to Utilize the FMLA
- Are you recovering from a serious health condition?
- Are you bonding with your new baby or adopted child?
- Are you caring for a family member with a serious health condition?
Employee Eligibility Questions
- Have you worked for the company or business for at least one year?
- During the previous year, did you work at least 1,250 hours?
- Are at least 50 people employed within a 75 mile radius of your company’s location?
FMLA and Military Members
There are also special circumstances for military members, which include but are not limited to leave availability for short-notice deployments, rest and recuperation, military events and related activities, leave to care for an injured service member and counseling. Eligible employees may be entitled to take up to 26 weeks of leave during a 12 month period.
Domestic Violence Leave in Florida
In Florida, employees also have the right to take leave related to domestic violence issues at home. Eligible employees are permitted to take up to three days off in a 12-month period to seek an injunction, receive medical care or counseling, get services from a victims’ rights group, relocate or make their home more safe or seek legal assistance.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
Although the FMLA is traditionally an unpaid leave of absence, you’re still entitled to be reinstated at work. It’s unlawful for an employer, manger or boss to interfere with your FMLA rights or retaliate against you for taking FMLA leave. If you are dealing with interference or retaliation regarding your rightful FMLA leave, contact our experienced employment law team as soon as possible at (239) 262-2141. You may be entitled to lost wages, benefits, damages and compensation to cover attorneys’ fees and legal costs.
Legal Disclaimer: The above guidelines are educational in nature and do not create an attorney/client relationship. It is highly recommended that all Florida citizens with employment law issues contact an experienced local Florida employment law attorney to assist them with specific facts and circumstances regarding their labor and employment law matter. If you have been the victim of illegal activities at your workplace, then feel free to contact Attorney Rothman at Weldon & Rothman, PL toll free at (877) 730-5180 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bradley P. Rothman is an experienced Florida employment law attorney who has been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star. He is a principal member of Weldon & Rothman, PL – a Southwest Florida law firm with offices in Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota.