Discuss Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), enacted by Public Law 103-3.
Under the FMLA, eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for any of the following reasons:
To care for a newborn or newly adopted child.
To care for a seriously ill spouse, child, or parent.
To recover from a serious health
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To handle certain qualifying exigencies related to the military service of a spouse, child, or parent.
In addition to the above, eligible employees who have a spouse, child, or parent who is a covered military service member with a serious injury or illness may take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave during a single 12-month period to care for the service member.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must work for a covered employer and meet certain requirements, including having worked for the employer for at least 12 months, having worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the start of the leave, and working at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
The FMLA requires covered employers to maintain an employee’s health insurance coverage while they are on leave and to restore the employee to the same or an equivalent position upon their return to work. Employers who violate the FMLA may be liable for damages, including lost wages and benefits, as well as attorneys’ fees and other costs.
In summary, the FMLA provides eligible employees with unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons and ensures that their job and health insurance coverage are protected while they are on leave. The act has been instrumental in helping families and individuals balance the demands of work and caregiving responsibilities.