Guide to Understanding Military Family Leave | Mann & Elias
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Guide to Understanding Military Family Leave

Denied FMLA Leave? Reach Out to a Trusted Employment Attorney

If you’re the parent, spouse, or child of an active service member, there are times where you might need to take time off work. At Mann & Elias we understand that illnesses and deployments require more of you. That’s where the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) comes in.

Since 2008, FMLA has provided relief for military families who relied on job-protected leave. Subsequently, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) also expands the needs of employees by increasing coverage to smaller companies. This article expands on who can use military family leave and when you might need a lawyer for FMLA violations.

What is Military Family Leave?

Requesting time off can feel like pulling teeth. You might be thinking about your finances, how your employer might react, and what might be on your plate at work. If you work for a qualified employer, FMLA and CFRA allow you to take time off without fear of getting fired or seeing a change in pay. To be eligible, employees must:

  • Work for the employer for at least 12 months
  • Work for 1250 hours of service within 12 months before leaving
  • Work at a location with 50 employers – within 75 miles of the worksite.

If your employer is not covered by FMLA, they do not have to offer FMLA leave. Nor do they if you don’t meet the requirements.

What Are the Military Leave Provisions?

A military family goes through more than the average family. When your loved one gets deployed to another country, certain things in your life are prone to change. It might require your immediate attention – whether to tend to their injuries or address personal issues outside of the office. Through FMLA, you are allowed up to 12 weeks of leave to make arrangements for the servicemember, attend ceremonies, or care for your loved one.

Active-Duty Coverage

After determining your eligibility, you would need to establish that your parent, spouse, or child is on “covered active duty,” which is a specific status. For members of the Armed Forces, this means they are on regular duty during deployment to a foreign country. Members working for the reserve components of the Armed Forces (National Guard and Reserves) are working in support of an operation. If your loved one does not have this status, you will not be able to take FMLA leave for the qualifying exigency.

Examples of Qualifying Exigencies

  • The employee was notified of the servicemember’s short-notice deployment and needed a week to manage issues or concerns.
  • A co-worker must make arrangements for the military member on active duty by helping them enroll in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
  • A manager hopes to attend a military family support program, ceremony, or program.
  • A parent needs to take time off to handle childcare issues arising from the military member’s active duty.

If you are taking this time off under FMLA or CFRA, an employment attorney could encourage you to include supporting documentation for your time off – especially qualifying events. It ensures that you get it approved and provides the employer will reassurance in their decision.

About Mann & Elias

The Law Offices of Mann & Elias is an employment law firm that provides guidance and legal support for individuals facing issues in the workplace. We represent clients at every level of the state and federal court systems in lawsuits regarding discrimination, wrongful termination, unpaid wages, and more. When your case is in our hands, we hope to minimize stress and concerns associated with work.

Workplace disputes and negotiations can be complicated and uncomfortable between an employee and employer. In many cases an employer can retaliate, causing individuals to feel that they are at a great disadvantage in the company. When you retain one of our lawyers, you will be well-protected and advised. While there are thousands of lawyers to choose from, we strongly believe our success is based on:

  • 50+ years of trial experience
  • Excellent advocacy skills
  • Intense preparation and research
  • Quality care

Since our partnership began over 20 years ago, we have settled hundreds of claims, completed 100 jury and bench trials, and recovered more than $18 million in settlements. In the end, our goal is to understand what you need and achieve the best outcome for you by focusing on those needs. For dedicated representation with no upfront fees, give us a call at 323-866-9564 or email


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