Employers are required to allow employees to take time off of work under certain conditions. It is important to know when you are legally permitted to take off work and any steps you need to take.
Family Medical Leave Act
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave in a twelve month period for their own serious health condition, the serious health condition of a family member or the birth of a child. Employees make take the time all at once, in smaller blocks or even as needed.
Not all medical conditions are covered, the condition must be serious. Under the FMLA a serious condition is one where the patient sees a doctor or other healthcare provider, is prescribed medicine and is incapacitated for three or more days. Serious health conditions may even include ailments like asthma or migraines. The employee is required to provide 30 days notice, where possible, when they intend to take the FMLA leave. If 30 days notice is not possible, they need to provide notice as soon as possible.
The FMLA also does not apply to all employers. It only covers employers that employ 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. If your employer has fewer than 50 employees, then you will not be covered by the FMLA. In addition, only employees that have worked for their employer 12 months and at least 1,250 hours are eligible. It is important to remember that the employee's eligibility is measured at the time they take the leave, not at the time they request it. For example, an employee can request FMLA leave when they have only worked for nine months, as long as the leave will not start until after they have worked 12 months.
Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Therefore, employers are required to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs and practices, as long as it does not create an undue hardship. A reasonable accommodation is one that eliminates the employee's conflict between his or her religious practices and work requirements, but does not cause an undue hardship for the employer. The accommodation may be an undue hardship if it is very costly, compromises safety, decreases efficiency or infringes on others' rights. Religious accommodation is a very complicated area of the law, and requires an experienced employment attorney to assist the employee in determining his or her rights.
Florida, unlike some states, does not have a specific law requiring time off for voting. However, your employer may not try to intimidate you or coerce you in any other way. For example, an employer may violate the law by requiring workers to work hours that would prevent them from being to vote at all.
In Florida, employees must be given time off to attend jury duty and serve as jurors if picked on a trial. The employee must provide at least five days notice of jury duty to their employer. The Cod of Metropolitan Miami-Dade County requires employers to continue paying employees their wages while on jury duty if the employee is scheduled to work at least 35 hours that week.