Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 entitles eligible employees to be absent for up to 12 workweeks per year for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition, or when unable to work because of a serious health condition without loss of their job or health benefits. The FMLA does not provide more annual or sick leave than that which is already provided to Postal Service employees. Employees who have been employed by the Postal Service for at least one year and who have worked at least 1250 hours during the previous 12 months are eligible. (From Joint APWU & USPS Family & Medical Leave Act Statement).

 

ADVANCE NOTICE AND MEDICAL CERTIFICATION

The employee may be required to provide advance leave notice and medical certification. Taking leave may be denied if requirements are not met.
1.
  • The employee ordinarily must provide 30 days advance notice when the leave is "foreseeable."
   
2.
  • An employer may require medical certification to support a request for leave because of a serious health condition, and may require second or third opinions (at the employer's expense) and a fitness for duty report to return to work.

 

JOB BENEFITS AND PROTECTION

1.
  • For the duration of FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee's health coverage under any group health plan.
   
2.
Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms.
   
3.
  • The use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee's leave.

 

UNLAWFUL ACTS BY EMPLOYERS

FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to:

1.
  • Interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA.
   
2.
  • Discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.

 

ENFORCEMENT

1.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of violations.
   
2.
  • An eligible employee may bring a civil action against an employer for violations.

- FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.

 

 

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