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FMLA provides workers in Tennessee with important protections

Workers in Tennessee may someday find that they or a family member must take an extended leave from work due to a pregnancy, illness or injury. They may have heard of the Family Medical Leave Act, but they may not be so sure who is covered by it and what it does. The following post is meant to provide readers with more information about FMLA. However, those with specific questions are encouraged to bring the matter up to an attorney who can assess their personal situation.

FMLA gives qualifying workers up to 12 weeks of leave from work annually for specific reasons. While this leave is unpaid, a worker's job will be protected while on FMLA leave. All public agencies, private companies and public and private elementary and secondary schools who have at least 50 workers are subject to FMLA.

Some people may think that FMLA only applies to pregnant women or those who have just given birth. However, it also applies to those who adopt a child or foster a child. In addition, it applies to those who are caring for an immediate family member who is seriously ill or injured. And, of course, it applies to workers who are suffering a serious illness or injury and cannot work.

In order to qualify for FMLA protections, a worker must have been with their employer for at least a year. In addition, the individual must have worked with that employer for a minimum of 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months. Finally, the individual's employer must have at least 50 workers within 75 miles.

FMLA can be very important to those who must take time off of work for medical or family reasons. While it is unpaid, it does provide workers with job security. Those who are wondering whether they qualify for FMLA benefits or who feel they were wrongfully denied FMLA benefits may want to discuss their situation with an attorney.

Source: United States Department of Labor, "FMLA (Family & Medical Leave)," Accessed Nov. 26, 2017

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