There are numerous federal and state laws that govern employment in Florida. Some of these laws work to prevent harassment or other breaches of employees' civil rights in the workforce. Other laws aim to ensure that employees receive specific benefits. One of these laws is the Family and Medical Leave Act. For 23 years, the FMLA has provided countless Floridians the ability to take time away from work to tend to medical or family needs without concern of losing their jobs.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are very specific criteria that outline who is eligible for leave under the FMLA. In order to qualify, a private employer must have at least 50 employees with a 75-mile radius of each other. All qualified employees must work a minimum of 1,250 hours over the course of a 12-month period. These 12 months do not have to be in a consecutive string. Time alloted to vacation, sick days or other time away from work will not qualify you for leave under the FMLA. Except in some instances, your employment for a period of seven years will be considered.
Public sector employees may also be eligible for coverage under the Family and Medical Leave Act. If you work for a public school, a federal or state government agency or a municipal entity, you may be able to request this benefit.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but rather is meant to give Florida employees and employers an overview of the Family and Medical Leave Act.