The federal law is the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”): The FMLA provides for 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid medical leave for your serious medical condition or to care for the serious medical condition of a family member. This leave can be taken all at once or at different times. If your boss prevents you from taking FMLA leave, fires you while you are on FMLA leave, or fires you after you return from FMLA leave, you may have a claim against your employer for interference or retaliation. Keep in mind the FMLA applies only to employers with 50 or more employees, and only to employees who have worked with that employer for at least one year and accrued at least 1,250 hours within the last 12 months. There is also a state law that provides for medical leave, the Colorado Family Care Act. Similar to the FMLA, this law permits employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a serious medical condition. Unlike FMLA, it allows you to take medical leave to care for your domestic partner, if you and your partner are in a civil union. Federal law does not yet permit a partner in a civil union to use FMLA leave to care for the other partner.

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