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Family Medical Leave

Family and Medical Leave

The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the 2008 amendment, a federal law, provided employees of some employers the right to time off for certain family needs. Eligible employees may take time off for family, medical or caregiving needs, subject to certain guidelines. Prior to these laws, employees were at greater risk of losing a job if they chose to take time off for essential needs.  

Federal FMLA

You are eligible for unpaid leave if three conditions are met:


  1. Your employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the location where you work.

  2. You have worked for this employer for at least 12 months.

  3. You have worked at least 1,250 hours during the last 12 months.


If you meet those three conditions, you're eligible for a family leave benefit of 12 weeks in a 12-month period.​

The 12-week leave may be for the following:


  1.  A new child – This includes a newborn, a newly adopted child, or a foster care child, to bond with that child. 

  2.  A Family Member’s Care – This includes care for a parent, spouse, or child to care for a serious health condition.

  3. For one’s own Medical (Self Care) – This includes care for one’s own serious health condition(s) if the condition leaves one unable to work.

  4. Qualifying Exigency Leave – This includes a qualifying exigency related to the foreign deployment of a family member in the military, such as attending a military event, helping to arrange transfers to a new school and child care, and spending time with the family member on leave for rest and recuperation.

There is a 26-week military caregiver leave to care for a military service-connected serious injury or illness of a family member. (The 26 weeks is inclusive of the 12-week leave above rather than in additional to it).


Federal FMLA, though unpaid does include the following:


  • Your health insurance coverage, in effect while working, must be maintained by your employer

  • Your paid vacation, holiday pay, or other personal leave may be substituted, by you or your employer, for any FMLA leave

  • Your sick leave may be, if the policy allows, substituted by you for medical (self-care) leave, family care leave and servicemember family leave, but not for a new child or a qualifying exigency leave.

  • Your sick leave may be substituted by your employer for medical (self-care) leave, family care leave and servicemember family leave, but not for a new child or a qualifying exigency leave.


Make sure to comply with the normal procedural rules of your employer applicable to the paid leave if you do substitute, though your employer may waive those rules.

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Christopher Dunn

Royce Hood


ATTORNEY (Of Counsel)

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Cathy Haims

Sheldon Karasik


ATTORNEY (Of Counsel)


Protections Under Connecticut Law

Connecticut offers two laws to protect you, one to protect your job, the other to protect your income. Since leave under the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act is unpaid, and left many workers unable to take leave, Connecticut passed the Connecticut Paid Leave Act, effective January 2022.

Protections Under the Connecticut FMLA

The Connecticut FMLA offers more protections than the federal FMLA. Under Connecticut law, the employee is eligible if their employer has one or more employees. The employee must have worked for the employer for at least three consecutive months. If so, the employee may be eligible for 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period. Though this leave is unpaid, an employer may require, or an employee may request that the employee’s accrued vacation, sick, or personal time be applied to the leave time. (Note, an additional 2 weeks is available for employees due to a serious health condition during pregnancy.

An eligible employee may take FMLA leave for:

  • Birth and care within the child’s first year

  • Care for an adopted child or foster child

  • Care for the serious health condition of a family member

  • Care for an employee’s own serious health condition

  • Care as an organ or bone marrow donor

  • Care for qualifying exigencies, or serious injury or illness, of an active-duty service member spouse, son, daughter or parent (leave for care for a service member with a serious injury or illness is extended to 26 weeks)

  • Care associated with family violence (up to 12 days in a calendar year)


The law applies if the state of Connecticut is the employer; however, it does not apply if a municipality, local or regional board of education is the employer. It also does not apply if a private elementary and secondary school is the employer.


After leave, the employee is entitled to their same job, or if it is not available, then an equivalent job.

Protections Under the Connecticut Paid Leave Act

Employees on leave may be eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of income, as a replacement benefit, during a 12-month period. To be eligible the employee must have earned at least $2,325 in a quarter. The earnings must have been in one of the first four quarters of the prior five quarter period.

Our Employment Attorneys Can Fight for Your FMLA Rights

If you think your FMLA rights may have been violated, please contact us to discuss your situation or legal rights. Please call the Dunn Law Firm directly at (203) 903-7650.



(203) 903-7650

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Connecticut Office Address
By Appointment Only

Post Office Box 4124
Madison, Connecticut 06443


(203) 903-7650

New York Office Address
By Appointment Only

244 Fifth Avenue, Suite Q249
New York, NY 11598

Telephone: 917-587-8153

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