Employers in North Carolina, just like in every state, should follow the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA provides eligible employees with unpaid leave for certain reasons. Once an employee’s FMLA leave is completed, the employee has the right to be reinstated to their position.
The state also provides the employees with the right to take time off in cases of domestic violence and children’s school activities. Employees are entitled to the protection of all relevant laws.
Federal Family and Medical Leave rights
Eligible employees may take up to twelve weeks of leave for serious health problems, bonding with a new child, or preparation for a family member’s military service. The employee can get longer leave if they need to take care of a family member who is severely injured on military duty.
Employers in North Carolina are required to provide FMLA if they have at least fifty employees for at least 20 weeks per year (current or past).
An employee is suitable for FMLA leave if they have worked for the company for at least one year, if they worked at least 1250 hours during the past year and if they work at a place with at least fifty employees within a 75-mile radius.
Reasons for Leave
There are several reasons for FMLA leave. It is available if an employee needs time off to do the following:
- recover from a serious health state
- take care of a family member with a serious illness or health condition
- childbirth or bonding with a new child
- handle qualifying exigencies arising out of a family member’s military service
- take care of a family member who suffered a serious injury during active duty in the military
Medical Leave for a Child
A parent can take medical leave for a son or daughter who is underage, younger or older than eighteen, but is incompetent of self-care due to mental or physical disabilities. The child may be a biological, adopted, foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of an employee being in loco parenti.
How much leave can an eligible employee get?
North Carolina employees may take up to twelve weeks of leave within the period of one year for reasons like bonding with a new child, health issues, or qualifying requirements. This leave is available every year, as long as the employee reaches the eligibility of the upper-mentioned requirements.
During the particular twelve-month period, an employee can take up to twenty-six weeks of leave for military caregiver leave. This is a per-injury, per-service member entitlement.
In case the same family member is injured once again, or if another family member is injured at work, an employee can take additional leave to take care of them.
Employees are allowed to continue their health insurance while on leave, at the same cost they must pay while working. FMLA leave is not paid, but employees may be allowed to use their accrued paid leave.
When an employee’s FMLA leave ends, he or she is allowed to be returned to the same or an equivalent position.
North Carolina FMLA Laws
North Carolina employees have the right under the state law to take some time off for certain family or medical reasons.
North Carolina domestic violence leave
North Carolina employers cannot discipline, fire, dismiss or refuse to promote employees who take reasonable time off work to get an order of protection from domestic violence for the employee or a minor child.
All employers must give their employees up to four hours of unpaid leave per year to visit or take part in a child’s school.
If you are recovering from an illness or an injury or are taking care of a family member while they recuperate from an illness, you have the right to take FMLA. Also, reasons such as childbirth, having an order from domestic violence, being included in child’s school activities are reasons good enough to get your FMLA (if you are eligible).
This is a long process that takes lots of activities from doctor’s appointments, patience, and bonding with the family member.
Some employers may decide not to give their employees the needed time.
If this has happened to you, it is time to react. If you are suitable for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, but your employer refuses to give you this leave (fired you meanwhile), they have violated your rights. You can file a lawsuit and get justice on your side.
Call our North Carolina employment law office today and let our skilled attorneys take care of your case.