Family Medical Leave Act… What is it Really?


The federal family medical leave act allows extended, unpaid, job protected leave for certain situations.

Employers who have at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks of the current or previous year are subject to the regulation, therefore must allow employees the time off.  Employees also have requirements.  The requesting employee must have worked for the employer at least one year, working at least 1,250 hours during the previous year and they work at a location with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

There are several reasons why an employee may ask for family medical leave.

  • The employee may need to recuperate from a serious health condition
  • Care for an immediate family member who has/had a serious health condition
  • Bond with a newborn or adopted child
  • Handling a situation arising out of a family member’s military service
  • Caring for a family member who was seriously injured during active duty in the military

Employees are allowed up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12 month period.  The leave is available every 12 months if the employee continues to meet the eligibility requirements.  Employees are entitled to continue their employer sponsored health insurance at the same payment structure as when they were actively working.  FMLA is leave that is unpaid, but employees may be allowed or required to use accrued paid leave during the FMLA.

Iowa does have some special provisions for pregnancy and related issues.  These are considered a ‘temporary disability’.  For example, the Iowa Civil Rights act of 1965 provides broader coverage for pregnancy than FMLA.  For example, any employee who works for an employer who has at least four employees must be allowed time off for pregnancy, miscarriage, and childbirth.  There is no minimum service requirement, however adequate notice of intent to take leave as well as medical certification could be required.  The Iowa law does not apply, however, to an immediate family member who needs care.




Janis VanAhn
Health Insurance Advisor, LLC
p. 515.225.9994


A little more about us:
The Business Warrior group has some of the industry’s top experts in all the areas your business needs to be successful. Amongst the contributors is Janis VanAhn, owner of Health Insurance Advisor, LLC. For 19 years Janis has worked in and around the health insurance industry initially providing service to agents and employers related to employee benefits, individual healthcare and Medicare, while more recently becoming appointed as an individual agent with various quality carriers to provide this service to individuals through her own business.

Four years ago Janis was ‘blessed’ with being let go from her job at an insurance ageny. Staying within insurance was her path…but in what capacity. 2010 was the year Janis began her career as an independent insurance agent specializing in health insurance. Finding quality, cost-effective healthcare for individuals and families under age 65 as well as working with those who are Medicare eligible truly was her passion. She has made this a true specialty and positioned herself as someone to work with whether it is a financial professional or property & casualty agent with a client that needs assistance, to a group of seniors turning 65 and they keep receiving Medicare information and are confused about what to do.

Janis enjoys the one on one contact with clients as well as looking forward to speaking to groups about healthcare. Her excitement for this industry is what drives her to stay in tune with Healthcare Reform and what is currently happening and what will happen with coverage from now to past 2014.

‘Educating individual and Medicare consumers to make informed choices’ is her mission because if people are educated and understand, they will make informed choices that they are comfortable with.

Get to know Health Insurance Advisor, LLC and Janis Van Ahn by visiting the website, or contact her with your questions to find a solution.

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