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Do I qualify for the Family Medical Leave Act in CO?

Whether you are faced with the illness of a loved one or your own medical issues, being able to take time away from work is imperative. In Colorado, workers like yourself are afforded a right to take time off without wondering whether their jobs will be in jeopardy. Determining if you qualify for this option requires a complete understanding of the process.

As described by Colorado.gov, the Family Medical Leave Act provides you up to 520 hours (or 13 weeks) of unpaid leave with the knowledge that your job will be protected during this time. The amount of leave is slightly lower on the federal level (with qualifying workers receiving only 12 weeks), and the law stipulates that whichever regulation is more generous to employees must be recognized.

There are few different requirements that can determine your FMLA eligibility. You may be qualified if serious illness befalls yourself, or a close family member (such as your spouse/partner, parent or child). In the event you are seeking a leave on behalf of a child, that child must be younger than 18 in order for you to be eligible. If a child is older than 18, a mental or physical impairment must be present that prevents your child from being independent.

In terms of military members, FMLA eligibility extends beyond immediate family to the closest blood relative. This is known as military caregiver leave, which is available to all members of the Armed Forces. Service members can designate a next of kin to be responsible for their care; if no such designation exists, the relative will be chosen based on a pre-determined hierarchy (ranging from legally appointed ward or custodian to first cousins). 

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