LegalFix
Select your state

Employment law

FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal statute (applicable in all states) that entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons—and with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. See 29 U.S.C. §§2601-2654.

Under the FMLA, eligible employees are entitled to twelve workweeks of leave in a twelve-month period for:

• the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;

• the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;

• to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;

• a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;

• any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or

• twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single twelve-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

In Texas, as in all states, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with the right to take up to twelve workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave within a twelve-month period for specified family and medical reasons, with continued group health insurance coverage. These reasons include the birth and care of a newborn child, adoption or foster care placement of a child, care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, the employee's own serious health condition, and exigencies related to a family member's covered active military duty. Additionally, eligible employees can take up to twenty-six workweeks of leave in a single twelve-month period to care for a family member who is a covered service member with a serious injury or illness. To be eligible for FMLA leave, employees must work for a covered employer, have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, and have clocked at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12 months prior to the start of the leave. Covered employers typically include private sector employers with 50 or more employees, public agencies, and public and private elementary and secondary schools, regardless of the number of employees.


Texas Statutes & Rules

Texas Government Code, Section 661.913 - Parental Leave
This Texas statute provides state employees with parental leave, which is relevant to the FMLA as it addresses similar circumstances regarding the birth or adoption of a child.

Texas Government Code, Section 661.913, grants an employee of the state who is not eligible for FMLA leave the entitlement to a parental leave of absence for the birth of a natural child or the adoption or foster care placement of a child under three years of age. This leave is for a period not to exceed 12 weeks and is without pay unless the employee elects to use available paid leave. The employee's group health benefits are continued during the leave period as if the employee were not on leave.

Texas Labor Code, Section 21.051 - Discrimination Prohibited
This statute is relevant to FMLA as it prohibits employment discrimination, which can include discrimination against an employee for taking leave under FMLA.

Under Texas Labor Code, Section 21.051, an employer may not discriminate against an individual on the basis of race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age. This includes discrimination in terms of hiring, firing, compensation, or terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. While not specific to FMLA, this statute would protect employees from discrimination based on taking FMLA leave, as such discrimination could be considered a violation of the employee's terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 81.090 - Leave for Certain Communicable Diseases
This statute is relevant to FMLA as it provides additional leave provisions for employees with certain communicable diseases, which may intersect with FMLA's provisions for serious health conditions.

Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 81.090, allows an employee to take leave if the employee has a communicable disease that is considered a threat to the public health. The leave must be for the duration of the illness or the period designated by the health authority or physician. This leave could potentially overlap with FMLA leave if the communicable disease qualifies as a serious health condition under FMLA.

Texas Family Code, Section 157.901 - Income Withholding for Spousal Maintenance
This statute is relevant to FMLA as it addresses income withholding, which may affect an employee's financial situation during unpaid FMLA leave.

Texas Family Code, Section 157.901, provides for the withholding from earnings of amounts payable as spousal maintenance. This is relevant to employees on FMLA leave as their income may be affected by such withholding, especially during periods of unpaid leave. It is important for employees to understand how their maintenance obligations will continue even when their earnings are reduced or temporarily halted during FMLA leave.

Federal Statutes & Rules

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601-2654
The FMLA is relevant as it provides eligible employees with the right to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons while maintaining group health insurance coverage.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees of covered employers to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period for the following reasons: the birth and care of a newborn child within one year of birth; the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement; to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work due to a serious health condition; and for any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a family member is a covered military member on active duty. Additionally, eligible employees may take up to 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin. The FMLA also includes provisions to maintain health benefits during leave and job restoration upon return to work. Employers are also required to keep confidential any medical records or information.