The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) generally requires private employers with 50 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for certain family and medical reasons. Those reasons include the birth and care of a newborn child or placement of an adopted or foster child with an employee, as well as leave to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition or when an employee is unable to work because of the employee’s own serious health condition (including incapacity due to pregnancy).
Employees are eligible for federal FMLA leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Employers subject to FMLA are required to maintain group health insurance coverage for an employee on FMLA leave on the same terms as if the employee continued to work. Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee generally must be restored to the employee’s original position or an equivalent position identical to the original in terms of pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions.
Many states also have laws requiring that employers grant certain employees leave from work due to specified family, medical, or other circumstances.
Employers with 15 or more employees at one location must provide each employee who has been employed for 12 consecutive months up to 10 work weeks of family medical leave in any 2 years for the following reasons:
Unless prevented by medical emergency, the employee must give at least 30 days’ notice of the intended date upon which family medical leave will commence and terminate. The employer may generally require certification from a physician to verify the amount of leave requested by the employee.
Family medical leave may consist of unpaid leave. If an employer provides paid family medical leave for fewer than 10 weeks, the additional weeks of leave added to attain the total of 10 weeks may be unpaid.
Subject to certain limitations, leave for a serious health condition or the donation of an organ may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary. Leave for the birth or adoption of a child may not be taken by an employee intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule unless the employee and the employer agree otherwise.
Employees who exercise the right to family medical leave are generally entitled to be restored by the employer to the position held when the leave commenced, or to a position with equivalent seniority status, employee benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment.
For more information, please see Maine Revised Statutes: Title 26, Section 843 et seq.
An employer with 15 or more employees is required to provide an eligible employee, who is the spouse, domestic partner or parent of a person who is a resident of Maine and is deployed for certain military service for a period lasting longer than 180 days, up to 15 days of family military leave per deployment (if requested). Family military leave may consist of unpaid leave.
To be eligible, the employee must have been employed with the employer for at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the employee’s family military leave.
Family military leave may be taken only during one or more of the following time frames:
The employee must give at least 14 days’ notice of the intended date upon which the family military leave will commence if leave will consist of 5 or more consecutive work days. An employee taking family military leave for fewer than 5 consecutive work days must give the employer advance notice as is practicable. An employer may require certification from the proper military authority to verify an employee's eligibility for the family military leave requested.
Employees who exercise the right to family military leave are generally entitled to be restored by the employer to the position held when the leave commenced, or to a position with equivalent seniority status, employee benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment.
For more information, please see Maine Revised Statutes: Title 26, Section 814.
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