The Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act was established in 1993 and took effect on February 5 of that same year. The basis of the law was to give unpaid time off to an employee that needs to take care of an ill person in their family or a new child. President Bill Clinton was the first to sign off on the new law.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, individuals can take 12 consecutive weeks off from work without pay. This is often related to parents who want to take time off to care for a new child in their family. This applies to natural birth children, foster children, and adopted children. Employees are also allowed to take time off if they're dealing with an illness or taking care of a close family member. This is defined as a spouse, child, or parent of the employee.
When the employee returns to their place of employment, they must be given the same job and rate of pay as they did prior to the leave. The employer can also offer a similar job, provided that it offers the same rate of pay and benefits as the employee's old position. The employer must also guarantee benefits while the employee is on leave and not take any retaliatory measurements once the employee returns to work.
The Family and Medical Leave Act applies to any company that has at least 50 employees working in a 75 mile radius of the head office. A company that utilizes sales representatives working in the field is one example of a company that falls under this banner. The Act is also in effect for all employees working for the government at the state or federal level. The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last calendar year and been an employee for a minimum of one year.
The Act states that employees must give their employer 30 days notice prior to the time they plan to leave work. However in the case of an emergency, the employee can give less notice. The Act also states that the employer can request a certificate from the hospital or primary doctor of the sick family member to ensure the accuracy of the condition.
In 2009 the Family and Medical Leave Act was amended to include those in the military. They're given the same benefits under the law, but are also able to take 26 weeks off work. This means that military personnel can take 26 weeks off active duty to care for a new child, sick family member, or to deal with their own personal illness. This amendment also states that the individual can only take 26 weeks off every calendar year, regardless of the severity of the illness.
Comprehensive resources on the Family and Medical Leave Act include:
- Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 : Lists the provisions of the law.
- Breaking Through Barriers : Examines who qualifies for the Act.
- Family Medical Leave Act Questions and Answers : Covers some of the more commonly asked questions about the Act.
- Final Regulations on Family and Medical Leave : Lists the common things found inside the Act.
Other resources include FMLA, which lists the basics of the Act. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 has information on what's covered under the Act and Balancing Work and Family, and provides information for employees. Users should also check out Family and Medical Leave, which shows the benefits under the Act and the U.S. Department of Labor for information on the major rules of the law.
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