Family and Medical Leave Act FAQs

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?
Are all employers and employees covered by the FMLA?
For what types of events can an employee take leave under the FMLA?
Am I required to provide my employer with my medical records when requesting leave under the FMLA?
Is my employer entitled to make inquiries about my FMLA leave?
Are there any local or state laws that offer protections similar to the FMLA?

Q: What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

A: The FMLA is a federal law that applies to many employees, allowing an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons during a 12-month period.

Q: Are all employers and employees covered by the FMLA?

A: No, employers and employees must meet certain requirements to be covered by the FMLA. For example, employers must generally employ 50 or more employees to be required to follow the FMLA, and employees must generally have worked for an eligible employer for 12 months during which at least 1,250 hours were worked.

Q: For what types of events can an employee take leave under the FMLA?

A: Generally, employees are entitled to take leave for events such as the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee; the adoption of a child by the employee; care of an immediate family member, such as a spouse, child or parent, with a serious health condition; or, the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Q: Am I required to provide my employer with my medical records when requesting leave under the FMLA?

A: No, although your employer may require a medical certification in support of your request.

Q: Is my employer entitled to make inquiries about my FMLA leave?

A: Yes, but only to you. Your employer may ask you questions to confirm whether the leave taken qualifies for FMLA and may require periodic reports on your status and intent to return to work after your FMLA leave ends. Your employer may require additional medical certification during your FMLA leave and may investigate the certification provided.

Q: Are there any local or state laws that offer protections similar to the FMLA?

A: The District of Columbia has a statute, similar to the FMLA, that offers similar protections to employees of employers with 20 or more employees. There is no similar Maryland state statute.

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