The Family and Medical Leave Act gives employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of leave in order deal with domestic, medical and family problems. Under the act, a medical emergency is defined as any illness or impairment, mental or physical, that requires inpatient care or continuous medical treatment. The act only includes family members, children or spouses, ill-health of whom can entitle a person for FMLA-related leave.

An employee must have worked for the employer for a minimum of twelve months before he becomes eligible for an FMLA leave. Under the current FMLA regulations, the reasons that entitle the employee for FMLA-related leave include the arrival of a new child in the family ? either by birth, adoption or foster care. It may also include pre-natal leave especially if a doctor has advised bed rest for the pregnant women at any time during the course of the pregnancy, due to a medical condition.

Both parents can apply for parental leave after the birth of a child. A father may also qualify for FMLA leave to care for his spouse in case of debilitation by pregnancy or childbirth. However, if both parents work in the same company, only one parent may be eligible for FMLA leave.

The serious ill health of the employee that prevents him or her from performing any job duties also qualifies for FMLA leave. Other reasons include medical leave to care for a family member who is severely ill. Only a spouse, child or parent qualifies as family members. FMLA leave may also be granted for care for a family member who was injured while on active duty in the military.

If you feel that your employer is denying your FMLA rights, it is advisable to contact an experienced employment attorney. The attorney will elaborate your rights and try to get you compensated.