Family and Medical Leave in Connecticut Lawyers

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Most Common Employment Law Issues:

What Is the FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) was an important step in requiring employers to grant time off to employees with family and medical issues.  Whether you are sick yourself, caring for a sick family member (parent, child, or spouse only), or have a newborn or adopted child, the FMLA will ensure that you retain your job while taking leave to deal with your medical- or family-related issues. To qualify for FMLA protection, you must meet these requirements:

  1. The employer must have 50 or more employees.
  2. The employee must have worked for at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months.

If those two requirements are met, then the employer must grant 12 weeks of unpaid family/medical leave per year to its employees. Family/medical leave is defined as needed time off to care for your own medical condition, or those of a family member, or having a newborn (or adopted) child come into your household.

How Do Connecticut Laws Affect My Rights Regarding FMLA Leave?

It is important to note that the FMLA is a federal law, which means it applies equally to every state and trumps any conflicting state laws. The protections granted above are available to you regardless of what your state law says. Although many states have laws that offer less protection and benefits to employees, employers covered by the FMLA  must comply with the federal or state provision that provides the greater benefit to their employees. You have no obligation to designate whether the leave you take is FMLA leave or leave under state law.

Essentially, this means that the FMLA provides your basic leave benefits, so long as you qualify for the FMLA and your employer is governed by the FMLA, and Connecticut law can only add to your benefits. 

Added Benefits of Connecticut Law:

If I Qualify for Coverage Under the FMLA, But Not Under Connecticut Law, Can I Still Get Connecticut's Benefits?

Probably not. Even though the states must chose the provision that is most beneficial to the employee, it is usually an all-or-nothing package, meaning that you cannot take Connecticut's law apart and choose which provisions you like.   

An example of this would be where you work for an employer that has 55 employees. Since you meet the minimum of 50 employees required under the FMLA, you would receive all of its protections. And since you do NOT meet Connecticut's 75 employee minimum, you would not qualify for its other benefits, such as requiring only 1,000 hours of work in the previous year.

Should I Contact an Attorney?

If you or a loved one has fallen ill and are in need of medical help, or you have a new child at home, you should not have to sacrifice job security in order to take care of them. This field is particularly difficult to navigate because it is full of over-lapping statutes, so a good lawyer will be essential for you to maximize your rights and protect your job. A Connecticut employment attorney will be familiar with both Connecticut and federal employment law, so they can help you get the most benefit from your employer, and assist you in avoiding any otherwise inevitable problems with employer's health insurance and coverage.  

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Last Modified: 06-17-2014 10:41 AM PDT

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