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What do I need to know about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if I need to care for a loved one?

ANSWER

FMLA is a federal law that allows you to take up to 12 weeks off without pay every year to care for a family member. You may be eligible if you:

You don’t have to take your leave all at once. But if you’re working shorter stretches alternating with time off, your company may temporarily put you in a different job with same pay and benefits.

  • Work for a company with at least 50 employees, a government agency, or elementary or secondary school. Some states cover smaller employers.
  • Have been with your employer for at least 12 months, and for at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months.
  • Have used up your vacation, if your company requires it.

AARP Public Policy Institute: Understanding the Impact of Family Caregiving on Work, Fact Sheet.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Balancing Work and Caregiving.”

Minnesota Board on Aging: “Work & Caregiving: Finding Balance, Minnesota Board on Aging.”

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

AARP: “Balancing Work and Caregiving.”

U.S. Department of Labor: “FMLA (Family and Medical Leave),” “Wage and Hour Division (FMLA),” “FMLA Frequently Asked Questions.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 23, 2019

AARP Public Policy Institute: Understanding the Impact of Family Caregiving on Work, Fact Sheet.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Balancing Work and Caregiving.”

Minnesota Board on Aging: “Work & Caregiving: Finding Balance, Minnesota Board on Aging.”

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

AARP: “Balancing Work and Caregiving.”

U.S. Department of Labor: “FMLA (Family and Medical Leave),” “Wage and Hour Division (FMLA),” “FMLA Frequently Asked Questions.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 23, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

Do you have to use your vacation time before you can take FMLA time off for caregiving?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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