The Family and Medical Leave Act allows eligible employees to take leave up to 12 weeks of leave for family and medical reasons. If you as an employee or your family member have a serious health condition that requires you to take care after them, you can request an FMLA leave from your employer.
To be eligible for an FMLA leave, you must be working for your employer for more than a year. If the hours worked is under 1,250 hours in the last 12 months, you cannot request an FMLA leave. Also, your employer must have at least 50 employees within 75 miles radius of the workplace. As long as these requirements are met, you are eligible for an FMLA leave.
More Leave Under FMLA
Although 12 weeks is enough in most cases, sometimes it isn’t enough for paternity and maternity leave. Under no circumstances, you cannot get more than 12 weeks of job-protected leave. Not showing up at work after your FMLA leave has ended, your employer will have the legal right to terminate your employment.
However, in many cases employers still let employees take the necessary leave time in these situations even if it exceeds the 12 weeks. So to get any additional leave other than the 12 weeks of FMLA leave, your employer must let you, otherwise, you may end up losing your job.
Since FMLA can grant you 12 weeks of unpaid but job-protected leave, requesting any additional leave than that can put your employment at risk. With that being said, it is always best to let your employer know beforehand that you may need additional leave on top of your FMLA leave. If you can’t reach your employer, you can tell this to the human resources department of the company.