Family Medical Leave Act

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Family Medical Leave Act: What You Need to Know

For people living with substance abuse disorders, a common hesitance in seeking treatment is fear of loss of employment. Fortunately, legal protections exist to help remove barriers to potentially life-saving rehabilitative services.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law protecting the employment status and insurance coverage of certain employees during the course of medical treatment, including treatment for substance abuse disorders. Under these protections, employees who qualify could be guaranteed up to 12 weeks of medical leave as well as preventing insurance companies from dropping coverage.

Who is Protected under the FMLA?

Government employees including those working in public schools, or in local, state, or federal government offices are covered by the Family Medical Leave Act. For employees of privately held companies, you must meet the following requirements:

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Work at least 20 hours per week
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Maintain employment with the company for at least a year prior to treatment
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Work at or within 75 miles of a location with at least 50 employees

How Do You Qualify for FMLA Coverage?

You may be protected under the Family Medical Leave Act if:

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You are unable to work due to a serious health condition
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Someone within your immediate family (spouse, child, or parent) has a serious health condition requiring your care
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You have recently adopted or fostered a child
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Your spouse, child, or parent is deployed with the National Guard or National Reserve

How Do I File for FMLA?

Taking time off of work for addiction recovery can be a challenging choice to make, especially if you are the primary provider for yourself or your family. While the Family Medical Leave Act only requires employers to provide unpaid leave, you may be able to utilize any accrued paid time off including paid vacation days and sick leave.

To file for FMLA, obtain the proper form from the United States Department of Labor website or from your employer. Ensure you are filling out the proper form. If you are filing in order to seek addiction treatment, you need the WH-380-E form. Your employer will need to fill out Section 1, you will fill out Section 2, and your healthcare provider will fill out Section 3. The form should then be filed with your employer.

If you have questions regarding FMLA and addiction treatment coverage, contact us today.
Disclaimer: The information contained herein may, from time to time, be outdated and is not intended to be legal advice.

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