Being faced with the topic of taking time off sometimes leaves us a bit uncomfortable and uneasy to deal with. What happens, though, when the unfortunate arises and you have a death in the family requiring you to take time away from your job? Generally, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects those employees who need time off in the event a loved one becomes ill, but will they cover you should you need this time when a death in the family occurs?

labor and employment lawyer in Houston, TexasEmployment and labor law attorneys of Houston, Texas want you to be aware and clear as to what FMLA will cover in the event you may need to use it.  Technically, under this act, should a close relative pass away, you would not be covered to take time off. While employers can offer you bereavement leave, which is generally only a few days of paid time off based on your employer, FMLA would not be granted to take an extended period of time off.


To better clarify what FMLA covers, listed below is how the State of Texas defines what would constitute as a reason to take FMLA and some basic facts about it.

  • Your place of employment, either public or private, must house 50 or more employees, including schools regardless of the number of professionals working there.
  • To be eligible, you must have worked at least 1250 hours within the last 12 months, and have worked at least 12 months in total for the entire time employed by the company.
  • The employee is able to take up to 12 weeks of paid or unpaid time off.

Your reason for absence must be attributed to one of the following:

  • You or a family member has a serious health condition
  • When giving birth or adopting a child, or placing a child in the hands of a foster home

Now, let’s say a parent or grandparent of yours passes away, yet you have yet to be given your rightful time to grieve. While your employer may provide your bereavement leave, which may not give you the time you need in handling this matter, there may be a way you can receive FMLA.

Employment law attorneys in Houston, Texas understand that with the passing of a loved one, it takes a toll on an individual. If you find you develop a serious health condition and need time off to recoup or receive medical treatment, you may then qualify for FMLA in order to treat your condition.

Losing a loved one is something we all dread. When these saddening moments arise in our lives, it is important your employer provides you with the time you need for grieving and recovery. Should you administer or boss deny you of time off that you legitimately should be receiving, consult with a Houston, Texas labor law legal representative to further investigate your case and decide if further action should be taken against your employer.