The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and its state-law counterparts require qualifying employers to provide qualified employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave every year. The law also requires the company to maintain the employee’s group health benefits during such leave. The leave may be used for the employee’s own serious medical condition, to care for a family member with a serious medical condition, for maternity or paternity leave – or any combination of the above. The FMLA does not require companies to provide paid leave, but employees are usually allowed to apply any accrued paid time off toward their FMLA leave periods. The FMLA applies to all public elementary and secondary schools, all public agencies and all companies with 50 or more employees in a 75-mile radius. Employees qualify for FMLA leave if they have worked for the company for at least 12 months, have worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months. In addition to providing job-protected leave, the FMLA also makes it illegal to discriminate or retaliate against an employee who has taken FMLA leave. The FMLA and its regulations are complex and at times confusing. Our firm can help your business stay in compliance and avoid costly penalties.