In Wisconsin, employees that suffer from a serious health condition can find protection under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and Wisconsin’s Family Medical Leave Act (“WFMLA”).  In order to be afforded the protection under these laws, the employer must meet certain requirements and the employee must be eligible.

Are you eligible?

Under both the FMLA and WFMLA, the employer must employ at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.  For the employee, the requirements differ depending on the applicable law.  An employee is eligible under the FMLA if they have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months and eligible under the WFMLA if the employee has worked at least 1,000 hours in the last 12 months.

What is the reason for your leave?

WFMLA and FMLA can only be taken for specific reasons, so it is crucial that employees ensure the reason for the leave is covered. You can take FMLA or WFMLA:

  • To bond with a newly born child
  • To bond with an adopted or foster child for one year after placement
  • To care for a parent, child or spouse with a serious health condition
  • If you suffer from a serious condition that affects your ability to perform your job
  • In certain situations, arising from the military deployment of a spouse, child or parent

What are the benefits of the leave?

FMLA and WFMLA provides job protection.  A returning employee must be either placed in their former position or an equivalent position.

Under the FMLA, an employee may take up to 12 weeks of continuous or intermittent leave in a 12-month period.  Under the WFMLA, an employee may take up to 2 weeks of continuous or intermittent leave.  It is important to note that WFMLA leave runs concurrently with any FMLA leave.

Where can you go for help?

The first place to start is with the employer.  An employee should notify an employer as soon as practicable of the need for leave related to a serious health condition.  Once an employee notifies the employer, the employer must provide the employee notice of their options and procedures for leave.

If an employee encounters retaliation or interference regarding their FMLA or WFMLA request, they should contact an attorney immediately as certain deadlines apply. The experienced attorneys at McDonald & Kloth, LLC would be happy to assist with your FMLA or WFMLA issue.