Federal FMLA

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act applies to private employers who have 50 or more employees each working day during at least 20 calendar weeks or more in the current or preceding calendar year.

Public agencies, including state, local and federal employers and local education agencies (schools) are also covered by the FMLA.

In order to be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee: (1) must have worked at least 12 months (need not be consecutive) for the employer; (2) must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the date of commencement of FMLA leave; and (3) must work at a work site within 75 miles of which that employer employs at least 50 employees.

Under the federal FMLA, a covered employer must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee;
  •  for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
  •  to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  •  to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Spouses employed by the same employer are jointly entitled to a combined total of 12 work-weeks of family leave for the birth and care of the newborn child, for placement of a child for adoption or foster care, and to care for a parent who has a serious health condition.

Federal Laws, Regulations, & Guidance


Connecticut FMLA

Under the Connecticut Family & Medical Leave Act, employers with 75 or more employees must allow eligible employees up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave in any two-year period in the event of the birth or adoption of a child, serious illness of the employee, or serious illness of a child, spouse or parent (including parent-in-law).

Eligible employees are those who have been employed for 12 months or more (need not be consecutive) for a covered employer, and who have worked 1,000 or more hours in the 12-month period preceding the first day of leave.

Employers subject to both the state and federal family and medical leave laws must provide the benefits most generous to the employee under both statutes.

Pregnancy Disability Leave

Connecticut’s Fair Employment Practices Act (which applies to employers of three or more employees) requires employers to allow a reasonable leave of absence for disability resulting from pregnancy.

Further, an employee disabled by pregnancy cannot be denied any compensation to which she is entitled as a result of the accumulation of disability or leave benefits.

Note that this statute applies to employees who might not otherwise be eligible for FMLA leave, as well as to small employers who are not subject to the FMLA laws.

State Laws, Regulations, & Guidance

Military FMLA

For eligible employees who have a spouse, son, daughter, or parent who is a service member, state and federal law also authorize military family leave under the following circumstances:

  • Eligible employees whose family service member is on active duty or is called to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain “qualifying exigencies.” Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.
  • Eligible employees may take a special entitlement of up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member during a single 12-month period. A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the service member medically unfit to perform his or her duties for which the service member is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list.

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