Reports of Apple CEO Steve Jobs going on a medical leave have been splashed across all media outlets, amid tons of speculations on how that would affect the firm. You may come upon a time when you need to prioritize your health and take a leave from your job, so be sure to learn more about your options. One that you can consider is the Family and Medical Leave Act, which requires some employers to give sick leave for reasons like having a serious illness, caring for a sick family member, or becoming a new parent. Workers who are covered under the FMLA have to meet qualifications such as:
- Working for a company that has more than 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
- Having worked at the company for over 12 months at a minimum of 25 hours per week.
- Request for the leave 30 days prior, or as soon as possible in emergencies.
To read about the downside and your rights under the FMLA law, read on.
The bad news is that under the FMLA law, the leave will be unpaid. It runs up to 12 weeks within a year or 26 weeks off if you're caring for a family member released from the military with a serious injury. The good news is that you'll be guaranteed the same or an equivalent position when you return to work, and health insurance coverage (with monthly payments) will continue as usual.
For those who are not covered by the FMLA, be sure to check out your local state laws, employment contract, and union benefits. You can also consider having a serious conversation with your employer if none of these protections apply to you.