The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave. This article provides answers to the most frequently asked questions.

The FMLA became effective August 5, 1993, for most employers and employees.

This law covers only certain employers; affects only those employees eligible for the protections of the law; involves entitlement to leave, maintenance of health benefits during leave, and job restoration after leave.

The FMLA allows employees to balance their work life by taking reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons.

FMLA applies to all:

  • Public agencies, including State, local and Federal employers, and local education agencies (schools); and,
  • Private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, including joint employers and successors of covered employers.

To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must work for a covered employer and:

  • Have worked for that employer for at least 12 months; and
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the FMLA leave; and,
  • Work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed at the location or within 75 miles of the location.

A covered employer must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • For the birth of a son or daughter, and to care for the newborn child;
  • For the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, and to care for the newly placed child;
  • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition;
  • The employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Note: The article above may not contain current information.

See also…

Labor and Employment Law Forum

Family Law Forum