Understanding how family and medical leave works

Family and medical leave, and understanding the legal rights associated with family and medical leave, can be increasingly important for families struggling with a variety of issues. Dealing with an illness in the family or other family-related situations can be stressful enough without worrying about a job. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides important protections for employees who need to leave their job in certain circumstances.

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take an extended leave of absence in certain circumstances and still be able to rely on the comfort that their job is protected. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against the employee or retaliating against the employee once they have returned to work after taking family or medical leave under the FMLA. Protection against discrimination for taking family leave is important to many workers and their families.

The Family and Medical Leave Act is designed to allow employees to attend to serious family and medical concerns and still return to their jobs. Under federal law, employees can take up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave and Rhode Island law allows them to take up to 13 weeks of family and medical leave. To qualify for the protections of FMLA, certain circumstances must be present such as childbirth, adoption or that the employee, employee's spouse, child or other close relative is suffering from a serious physical and mental health condition.

The FMLA provides important protections and rights to workers during challenging times which is why it is important to be familiar with the protections. It is also important to understand how to exercise the protections and enforce the rights provided under the act when necessary.

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