Employment Law: Am I Entitled To FMLA Leave?

The State of Indiana is considered an employment-at-will state. This means that an employer can fire an employee for any reason, whether good or bad, as long as it is not an illegal reason. One of my previous guides discusses in detail what is considered an illegal reason.  Because of what some may call a lack of legal recourse for employees in the State of Indiana, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) plays an important role. FMLA provides qualified employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.

FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.
FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:

  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
  • for placement with the employee of a child 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.

Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.


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