Rights Under The Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Texas is not a state that has passed legislation requiring qualifying employers to grant qualified
employees family and medical leave. However, employers in Texas are required to comply with the
federal government’s Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA, which allows qualified employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid family, parental and medical leave without penalty or without threat of losing their job. Maternity leave is also covered under FMLA.
Who Qualifies for Family and Medical Leave in Texas
The Family and Medical Leave Act extends to all public and all private employers in Texas who have 50 or more employees and to all public agencies as well as to all public and private elementary and secondary schools, regardless of the number of workers.
All qualified state workers in Texas are covered for family and parental leave under TX Gov. Code Sections 661.912 and 661.913. Unless the worker qualifies for disability or workers’ compensation, state workers must use their existing vacation and sick leave while taking such leave.
In order to qualify, State Workers must meet the following requirements:
- For family and medical leave, the state workers must have been employed by the state for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours during the preceding 12-months period.
- Employees with less than 12 months tenure or employees who have worked less than 1,250 hours in the previous 12-month period are eligible for parental leave not to exceed 12 weeks. This leave only applies to birth of a natural child or adoption or foster care placement for a child under age 3.
- State employees who are parents of children attending pre-kindergarten through grade 12 are entitled to use up to 8 hours sick leave each calendar year in order to attend parent-teacher conferences.
Qualified employees other than “key employees” who work in the Private Sector for qualified companies and who have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months are entitled to applicable family and medical leave under the federal government’s FMLA.
Under the Federal Law, time spent on Military Duty counts both towards tenure and hours worked. In addition, in situations where a spouse, child, parent or “next of kin” is needed to provide caregiving to military personnel injured in the line of duty, military caregiver leave permits up to 26 weeks of paid or unpaid leave during a calendar year.
In most cases, leave can be intermittent or within one continuous time frame.
Under FMLA provisions, private employers with 50 or more employees and all public and education sector employers must post a notice detailing how employees may qualify for family, parental or sick leave.
All state, federal and local employers and schools must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act.
All employers with 50 or more employees who work at least 20 workweeks during the current or previous year must also comply with FMLA.
More Qualified Employee Information
Covered employees are those individuals that meet the standards above and who work at a facility at which at least 50 workers are employed or who work for the employer within a 75-mile radius of such a facility.
For the most part, covered employers must permit family, parental or medical leave if one or more of these situations exist:
- The employee is unable to work due to a serious medical condition.
- The employee must provide care to an immediate family member who suffers a serious medical condition.
- The employee must give care or birth to a newborn.
- The employee is engaged in the placement and/or subsequent care of an adopted or foster care child under age 3.
Summary: Family and Medical Leave Act in Texas
There are exceptions to many statues in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Yet, the act is law and employers have responsibilities and employees have rights under the provisions of this act.
Do I need an FMLA Attorney
The Fort Worth law firm of Hutchison & Stoy, PLLC, takes employee rights seriously. If you have questions regarding your rights, your employer’s responsibilities or if you feel your rights have been violated, contact a FMLA attorney at Hutchison & Stoy, PLLC. We will provide you with a free consultation. Call 817-820-0100 for a confidential review of your potential clam or fill out our online case evaluation form.