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What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The right for people employed in Florida to take time off from their jobs to tend to important personal matters is guaranteed to them under employment law. Employers are legally prohibited from either preventing such time off or punishing employees by demoting them or otherwise negatively impacting their job status or earnings The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, of 1993 outlines the amount of time that can be taken off for different situations and this is considered important for your civil rights.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, you may be eligible for up to 12 or 26 weeks of time off without pay. During this time, you will be able to retain full health insurance coverage for yourself and your family. In a 12-month span, you can take 12 weeks of time off after the birth or adoption of a baby or child. This time off is also provided for you if you accept a child in your home for foster care. Additionally, you can take the 12-week time off in order to take care of a seriously ill child, parent or spouse.  If you are in the military, you may be able to extend your leave time to 26 weeks. 

U.S. News and World Report notes that employers can ask you to submit some details about medical conditions. However, your employer should never request personal or confidential information. A physician or other provider can assist you in obtaining the appropriate certification that should suffice for your employer’s needs. If you are ever fired for taking this time off, your employer could be liable for a wrongful discharge.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about the Family and Medical Leave Act in Florida.

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