Life happens, and sometimes you need to take an extended period of time away from work outside of what your standard PTO and sick time off cover.
This is where the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) steps in. It provides employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period to handle the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child, care for oneself or an immediate family member due to severe health conditions, or qualifying emergency due to a spouse, child, or parent being a covered member of the armed services on active duty. The FMLA ensures your job is protected while you are away (i.e., you cannot legally be let go due to your absence) and you keep your health insurance during the leave.
Some states, such as California and Colorado, also require employers to provide certain forms of paid sick leave or paid family and medical leave. In some instances, this paid leave also applies to employees affected by domestic violence or assault. These provisions vary widely by state, and not all states require employees to put paid sick leave provisions in place. Click HERE and HERE to find your state and any provisions it has made. If your state has both FMLA and paid sick/family leave, your employer must follow the law that benefits employees most.