Many employees in Pennsylvania are eligible to take time off from work if they have a family or medical issue that needs their attention. Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, employees may take as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year. To be eligible for FMLA leave, employees are required to have been employed for at least 12 months in which time they spent at least 1,250 hours working.
Many employees of covered Pennsylvania companies have the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off for a family or medical issue. According to the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers cannot prevent employees from taking leave or interfere with their decision to take it. Employers cannot fire workers for taking FMLA leave, and they must reinstate workers in the same position or an equivalent one once they return to work.
In the past, nearly all caregiver lawsuits against employers in Pennsylvania and around the country were filed by women fighting for maternity leave. Women still make up the majority of these cases, but the number of men who have joined the fight has almost quadrupled. More and more of them are fighting for their right to keep their jobs and take time off for their families.
Many Pennsylvania employees may not realize that when it comes to many aspects of the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers and even human resources professionals are not very well-versed in the issues and exceptions that may arise. In response to this, the Department of Labor has issued a new FMLA guide that attempts to clarify some of these issues.
Gay federal employees in Pennsylvania can now officially take family medical leave to take care of their spouses when their spouses are ill. The change occurred on April 8 when the Office of Personnel Management published the final rule for the law, updating the definition of "spouse" to include those who are in same-sex marriages.
The Family and Medical Leave Act generally requires companies in Pennsylvania and across the country with 50 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected time off each year to workers when they or a family member are diagnosed with a serious health condition. However, employers are sometimes uncertain as to what types of illnesses or injuries are considered serious enough to be covered by the 1993 law. For the terms of the FMLA to apply, a physical or mental condition, injury or incapacity must meet one or more of six criteria.
As long as certain conditions are met, Pennsylvania employees may take time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for family members. In one case, a federal appeals court ruled that when a woman was terminated after taking FMLA leave, the human resources director could be directly liable as the employer although when the case went to appeal, the terminated employee said that she did not consider the director responsible.