Family comes first and above anything else. In fact, the very reason why you go to work is to be able to earn money to provide for the needs of your family. More than working hard for your personal success, being a good provider for your family is one of your top priorities. That is why when something happens to the family that needs your immediate attention, you’d do anything that you can to ensure that you are there for them whenever they need you. However, your work might prevent you from leaving work to be with your family. The government understands your predicament that is why it has come up with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
This law aims to provide accommodation for employees, letting them take off work for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. You can use this accommodation in the event of child births, illness, or to care for an immediate family member that has a life-threatening condition. While taking this leave, the health benefits that should be given to you stay in effect. This act covers members of the public sector, public and private schools, as well as private employers with 50 or more members in his or her workforce.
So how can you apply for an FMLA? Here are the things that you should do:
- Verify if you are eligible. Go to your manager or the human resources department of your office, get a blank FMLA form, and verify your eligibility. The law dictates that you should have worked for 1,250 hours in the last 12 months in your current job to be eligible to take a leave.
- Fill out the form. Supply the necessary information and submit the form so that your employer can evaluate your application.
- Have your doctor certify your application. Your physician will fill out the certification portion. Some employers may require you to pass a release form that your doctors will fill out so they can provide information to prove your need to apply for a leave. Have your doctor and yourself sign the documents prior to submission.
- Get a copy of the forms before you submit it to your employer. Make sure to inform your employers if you will be using the FMLA leave so that they’ll be aware of your plans.
You need to work to be able to provide for the needs of your family. However, when you need to be physically present and be with your family, do not hesitate to take advantage of the FMLA law and take leaves to spend quality time with your loved ones.