There are many important benefits that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides for workers. In fact, the benefits of the FMLA far outweighs the negatives of trying to understand this complex morass of laws.
Many workers may lose interest in figuring out the availability of the FMLA after they realize it is unpaid leave. However, before giving up, you should know these four benefits of taking FMLA leave, as provided by the U.S. Department of Labor:
- Job Protection. The biggest benefit of the FMLA may be job protection. In other words, if you qualify for the leave, you can take up to 12 work-weeks off without having to worry that you will suffer negative job consequences like getting fired or being demoted. Once you return from leave, you are entitled to your former position or its equivalent.
- Health Insurance. If you normally receive health insurance benefits, your insurance can continue during your period of leave. Keep in mind that you may be on the hook to pay the insurance premiums yourself. But if you do not normally receive health insurance at work, FMLA will not provide this benefit.
- You Can Get Paid. While FMLA leave is unpaid leave, you still may get paid by substituting your accrued paid leave like sick and vacation days. You can either choose to substitute these paid days off or your employer may require that you use these days while on leave.
- Other Job Benefits. Generally, if your employer provides certain benefits to employees on non-FMLA leave, your employer may also have to make these benefits available to employees on FMLA leave. For example, if your employer provides a certain benefit to employees on disability leave, this benefit should also be available for an employee on FMLA leave.
If you believe that one of your FMLA leave rights has been violated, you may want to contact an employment attorney.
- FMLA Leave Law: In-Depth (FindLaw)
- When Can I Take FMLA Leave for a Medical Condition? (FindLaw's Philadelphia Employment Law News)
- An Overview of Your FMLA Rights (FindLaw's Philadelphia Employment Law News)