The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted in 1993 to promote work-life balance.
FMLA applies to all public agencies, public and private elementary and secondary schools and companies with 50 or more employees.
An employee is eligible when he or she meets the following criteria:
- works at a company that employs 50 or more employees
- has worked for their employer for at least one year
- has worked at least 1,250 hours over the past year
An employee can request unpaid leave for any of the following reasons:
- for the birth and care of the employee’s newborn child
- for the placement of an adopted or foster care child with the employee
- to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition
- to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work due to a serious health condition
Employers must provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. There are exceptions to the rule, such as servicemembers, who can receive up to 26 weeks of leave. Under certain circumstances, an employee may take their leave intermittently or as a reduced schedule.
Returning from leave
The employer must give the employee their original job or an equivalent job with the same pay and benefits. The employee’s group health benefits must be maintained during their leave.
Since 1993, FMLA has been used more than 100 million times to help workers find a healthy balance between their job and their family. If you need advice regarding FMLA, contact an experienced attorney.