Eligibility for family leave

When you accept a job at a new company and show up for your first day of work, you may well spend some time with a representative from the human resources department. This person general gives you an overview of the benefits the company offers and how you may sign up for different options. Some benefits are granted to you without the need for you to actively sign up. The right to take time off to provide care for yourself or a family member is one of these. 

The federal government passed the Family and Medical Leave Act to support a worker’s need to tend to important personal matters relating to their health or the health of an immediate family member. As explained by the United States Department of Labor, the family member may be a child, parent or spouse. Time off requests related to taking care of a new foster child, a newly adopted child or a new baby may fall under the provisions of the FMLA. 

When you are on leave under the FMLA, your position is to be retained and waiting for you upon your return. All other benefits, such as health care coverage, continue when you are on FMLA leave. Not every worker qualifies for this leave, however. You must have worked enough hours and for at least 12 months before you may qualify. 

If you would like to learn more about your right to take time off of your job without fear of losing your job or your essential benefits, please feel free to visit the Family and Medical Leave Act page of our Arizona employee’s rights website.