The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows you to leave your job for a period of up to 12 weeks to deal with a variety of medical matters. Generally speaking, your New York employer must hold your job during the leave period, and the company may be required to comply with other rules while you’re gone and after you return to work.
When FMLA might apply
You typically have the right to take FMLA leave after the birth of a child or after welcoming an adopted child into your home. The same may also be true if you need to care for yourself, a spouse or other key members of your family. If you are caring for a member of the armed forces, you may be allowed to take up to 26 weeks of leave over a period of 12 months to tend to that servicemember’s needs.
Your rights while on leave
While on leave, this federal employment law stipulates that your employer must continue to provide the same health insurance that you received while not on leave. Furthermore, if your employer requires you to take paid leave as a substitute for FMLA leave, the company must follow its already established policies for doing so. Finally, when you are ready to return to work, you are generally entitled to return to the same job that you held before you left. If that job isn’t available, an effort must be made to give you a similar position.
As a general rule, you cannot be retaliated against for taking FMLA leave. Therefore, if your employer demotes, terminates or otherwise discriminates against you simply for exercising your FMLA rights, you may be entitled to compensation. You may also be entitled to reinstatement to your job or other forms of relief.