You may take FMLA leave to care for your spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition, or when you are unable to work because of your own serious health condition. The most common serious health conditions that qualify for FMLA leave are:
- conditions requiring an overnight stay in a hospital or other medical care facility;
- conditions that incapacitate you or your family member (for example, unable to work or attend school) for more than three consecutive days and require ongoing medical treatment (either multiple appointments with a health care provider, or a single appointment and follow-up care such as prescription medication);
- chronic conditions that cause occasional periods when you or your family member are incapacitated and require treatment by a health care provider at least twice a year; and
- pregnancy (including prenatal medical appointments, incapacity due to morning sickness, and medically required bed rest).
To be eligible for FMLA leave, you must respond "yes" to each of the following:
- My employer has 50 or more employees.
- I have worked for my employer for at least 12 months.
- I have worked for my employer for at least 1250 hours in the last 12 months.
- My employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of my job site.
If "yes" to each of the above, you are eligible for FMLA leave.
To attempt to invoke your rights under the FMLA, follow these steps:
- You must notify your employer when you know you need leave.
- Your employer must notify you within 5 days whether you are eligible for leave.
- If your employer says you are FMLA eligible, your employer must provide you with your rights and responsibilities under the FMLA, and your employer may request medical certification:
- If your employer requests medical certification, you have 15 days to comply. Failure to comply may result in a denial of FMLA leave. Your employer can also ask you to correct deficiencies as well as a second and third medical opinions.