Can I Take a Leave of Absence in Georgia?

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Can I Take a Leave of Absence in Georgia?


Unforeseen circumstances arise all the time and occasionally demand your immediate and prolonged attention. If this happens to you, you may find yourself riddled with panic about how you’re going to manage your new situation while working and balancing daily responsibilities. That panic is the reason that leaves of absence exist. Taking a leave of absence is a federally protected right in the United States, given that you qualify to take one. Enacted in 1993, the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) is a federal law that allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave during a 12-month period. Your employment is protected under this federal law and cannot be legally terminated due to taking mandated leave. Contact an Atlanta FMLA Attorney for legal assistance regarding federally mandated leave.

What is a Leave of Absence?

A leave of absence is different from paid time off or vacation days. Leaves of absence are a benefit for employees who may experience unforeseen circumstances that require them to take time off of work. There is a difference between mandatory and voluntary leave.

Mandatory leave is required at the federal level in the form of the FMLA, mentioned above. If the employee meets the qualifications for leave then the employer is legally required to allow it. It also means that the employee’s role, or an equivalent role, will be restored to them when they return to work.

Voluntary leave is at the discretion of the employer. The company may choose to offer additional leave as a benefit to their employees, and it may be part of the employee’s compensation package. They will have their own qualifications and guidelines for who is eligible for leave and how long they allow.

What Qualifies Me for a Leave of Absence?

Companies may have their own policies and may choose to grant voluntary leaves of absence as they see fit. The state of Georgia does not have specific paid leave programs, but still abides by the federally instituted FMLA.

The FMLA applies to both full-time and part-time employees who meet the following conditions:

  • Have worked for the company for a minimum of 12 months (does not need to be consecutive)
  • Have worked 1,250 or more hours in the last 12 months
  • Work in a location that is within 75 miles of at least 50 other employees

Valid reasons to take a leave of absence include:

  • Parental leave in the first year of the birth of a child, adoption of a child, or fostering of a child
  • Serious health conditions
  • Care for a sick immediate family member
  • Military caregiver leave

Taking a leave of absence is your right. If you need representation related to FMLA do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney.

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We will prosecute your case to the fullest extent possible. If you’ve been wronged by an employer in Georgia, you can count on Ben Barrett Law to fight for you.

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