Some states have comprehensive laws that require employers to grant employees time off for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a family member with a serious illness, but Florida does not have such a law that covers private employers. However, most Florida employers with 50 or more employees will have leave obligations under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). There are details on the FMLA available.
Florida state employees have some leave protections under state law. State employees may take family medical leave for a serious family illness, including an accident, disease, or condition that poses imminent danger of death, requires hospitalization involving an organ transplant, limb amputation, or other procedure of similar severity. Medical leave may also be taken for any mental or physical condition that requires in-home care. Parental leave may be taken for the birth or adoption of a child. Leave cannot exceed 6 months. Employees must be allowed to use annual leave for family and medical leave. Sick leave or family sick leave may be used for any reason deemed necessary by a doctor or by an established employer policy.
Upon return from leave, employees must be reinstated to the same or an equivalent job with equivalent pay. Employees retain all seniority, retirement, fringe benefits, and other service credits accumulated prior to the leave. If any part of the leave is paid, the employee is entitled to accumulate all benefits granted under paid leave status. In addition, the state cannot terminate an employee because of pregnancy of the employee, the employee's spouse, or adoption of a child by the employee (FL Stat. Sec. 110.221).