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FMLA protection isn't just about the time off

Many full-time employees get paid time off provided by their employer. They may get a limited number of sick days, floating holidays and vacation time. Although these days are generally enough to cover the needs of the average worker, there are some instances in which a family emergency or medical illness requires more time off.

Having a job benefits society as a whole not just the individual, which is why the federal government protects workers in these types of situations. Instead of being forced to quit their jobs, the Family and Medical Leave Act provides an avenue for them to take more time off, but the extra time away from work isn't the only protection that the law provides.

FMLA allows not only provides an avenue for time off, but it also allows for continued health insurance and job protection. As a part of this job protection, the employer is not only required to hold the job, but they are also required to adjust sales goals, extend deadlines, alter other performance metrics and even get other co-workers to help.

The reasoning behind these requirements is that the employee should not be forced to work or even feel like they have to work while on FMLA leave. The time off should not result in negative performance reviews or contribute to job loss after they return from time off. When an employer fails to do this, it may be considered interference with the federally protected time off.

Source: Business Management, "Avoid FMLA suit: Cut slack for leave-takers," Dec. 5, 2012

Employees in New Jersey should feel comfortable taking time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Our employment page provides information about FMLA protections as well as other protections for employees, and what options a worker has when these are interfered with.

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