What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), can help you—and your family—deal with diabetes in the workplace. This law allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave during any 12-month period to care for their own serious health condition or to care for family members (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition.
Examples of when you might use FMLA for your diabetes would be for a doctor appointment or sick day because of your neuropathy pain (if your employer doesn’t allow these accommodations). Or you could use the FMLA to take your child to the emergency room in the event of severe hyperglycemia.
Tips for FMLA
  • FMLA absences may be taken in a single 12-week stretch or in shorter intervals, such as a short period to deal with a diabetes-related illness or emergency or a scheduled doctor’s appointment.
  • Employers who normally pay health insurance premiums must continue to do so for an employee on FMLA leave.
  • FMLA applies to most public employers and to those private companies with 50 or more local employees (within 75 miles of the workplace).
  • To be eligible, employees must have been with a covered employer for at least 1 year and have worked 1,250 or more hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the date of commencement of FMLA leave.
  • When leave is foreseeable, employees must give 30 days’ notice.
Some high-level company executives—those who are in the top 10% salary range—may be ineligible for FMLA leave. FMLA offers leave to care for yourself, your spouse, parents, step- and foster parents, minor children, minor step- and foster children, and adult children who are incapable of self-care. FMLA excludes leave care for unmarried partners, in-laws, siblings, grandchildren, and grandparents.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.