Frequently Asked Questions
What are the obligations of business owners under the Family and Medical Leave Act?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) imposes several obligations on business owners. Firstly, if a business owner employs people and meets specific FMLA requirements, they must comply with this law. This includes all public agencies, including schools and government entities on the local, state, and federal level. For private entities, FMLA applies to businesses with 50 or more employees, and a minimum of 20 unpaid work weeks must be offered throughout the year. Under the FMLA, an employee is permitted to take off up to 12 unpaid work weeks without fear of losing their job. While the leave is unpaid, FMLA mandates that business owners continue to offer the same health benefits to employees whether they are in work or out of work. This means that employers must maintain the employee's health insurance coverage during this period. Employers are also required to verify the authenticity of the health condition for which the employee is taking leave. They are allowed to get a medical certification from the health care provider to verify the health condition is authentic. If the employer asks for this information, the certificate must be provided within 15 days. According to the Department of Labor, an employer can also contact the health care provider themselves to confirm the legitimacy of the medical condition.
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