Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Using family or medical leave as a Michigan state employee

The Michigan state government follows federal protocols when it comes to family or medical leave. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, allows for up to 12 weeks of protected leave that is unpaid for employees in certain situations. If you have worked for a total of 12 months for the state of Michigan within the last seven years, you may be eligible for the state's FMLA benefit.

You also have to meet a few other eligibility requirements for these benefits. First, you have to have clocked 1,250 or more work hours in the past year, and you can't have already used up your FMLA benefits for the year.

FMLA covers you if you have to take time off work because you or a family member are dealing with a serious medical condition. This does include pregnancy, when mothers can take off up to 12 weeks to have the baby and bond with the new arrival. In many cases, the time off under FMLA is not paid, and the law doesn't guarantee any payment.

What the law does guarantee is that your job will be protected while you are gone. You must be able to return to work at the same position or job level as when you left. If you have saved vacation, sick or PTO time, you can also use that during your leave to be paid and maintain all your benefits.

FMLA is used in certain situations, and employers can make mistakes with denying FMLA coverage. If you have lost your job or any benefits during a medical leave, consider talking to an employment law attorney to find out if you should have been covered under the law.

Source: Michigan Civil Service Commission, "Family and Medical Leave Act," accessed June 29, 2016

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