Many situations may arise that require you to take time away from your job. This may happen if you have or adopt a new baby, experience a serious personal medical issue or need to take care of an aging or ill family member. Depending on the circumstances, you may qualify to take your leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

In addition to meeting criteria for the type of event prompting your leave, you must meet other eligible criteria before you may request or be approved for FMLA leave.

Covered FMLA employers

As explained by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Family and Medical Leave Act only applies to some employers. These include elementary or high schools; municipal, state or federal government agencies; or private companies that employ at least 50 people.

Covered FMLA employees

Simply working for a covered FMLA employer does not guarantee you the right to take leave under the FMLA. You must personally work at a location within a 75-mile radius of 50 or more other people employed by the company. You must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours, which averages out to 24 hours each week, in the 12 months before you take any leave.

You must have been employed by your employer for a minimum of 12 months, although those 12 months do not need to have been worked consecutively.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give employees in Kentucky an overview of the basic qualifications a person must meet before qualifying to take unpaid leave from their job per the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.