The Family and Medical Leave Act is designed to offer job protection when we must leave our workplace to attend to pressing family needs. Some states have chosen to create their own versions of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which are sometimes slightly different. Oklahoma abides by the federal program. Under the law, employees can take as many as 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for these kinds of circumstances. Private workplaces with 50 or more employees must abide by the law. Public workers and teachers are protected even if the workplace has fewer than 50 employees. Whether you’re a father or a mother, there’s a good chance you’re also a wage or salary earner.
The Oklahoma FMLA law is the program offering you the support you need for critical times. Those times could be good – the birth of a child, an adoption, receiving a foster child into the home. They could be difficult – a loved one being in an accident or having a serious illness in your immediate family.
Between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, then, may be a good time to take a look at the program designed to help you during those times when you must take the emphasis off work and put it directly on your family.
If you’re on unpaid leave and have medical coverage deducted from your paychecks, your employer can continue your deductions to make sure your coverage remains active. However, that will cost you later. Those deductions while you’re on leave and not receiving your wage or salary must be paid for somehow. The employer will consider those deductions as advances against future paychecks. The money will then come out of future earnings. Your and your employer should sign a written agreement making this arrangement clear.
The Oklahoma FMLA provides a poster describing the basics of the program, including eligibility and benefits. It should be displayed prominently at work.