Family Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 was effective August 5, 1993 and requires covered employers to provide up to twelve (12) weeks of paid or unpaid, job protected leave to "eligible" employees for certain family and medical reasons. Employees are eligible if they have worked for a covered employer for at least one (1) year, and for 1,250 hours over the previous twelve (12) months, and if there are at least 50 employees within 75 miles.
REASONS FOR TAKING LEAVE
Effective 3/1/95 - Unpaid leave, upon request, must be granted for any of the following reasons:
- To care for the employee's child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care; or
- To care for the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent (but not the parent of the employee's spouse) with a serious health condition; or
- Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee's job.
- Any qualifying exigency that arises because the spouse, son, daughter or parent of an employee is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty as a member of the National Guard or Reserve or a retired member of the Regular Armed Forces or Reserve in support of a contingency operation.
An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a covered service member is entitled to a total of twenty-six (26) weeks of leave during a twelve (12) month period to care for the service member. This leave is available only during a single twelve (12) month period.
During the single twelve (12) month period described in section II., an eligible employee is entitled to a combined total of twenty-six (26) weeks of leave under the provisions of sections I. and II. This does not limit the availability of leave under section I. during any other twelve (12) month period.
An employee must provide the employer with at least 30 days advance notice if the need for FMLA leave is foreseeable. If 30 days is not practical for some legitimate reason (for example, emergency surgery) notice must be given as soon as practical under the relevant facts and circumstances of the particular case. In most cases, the employer would have to be notified within one or two days of learning of the need for the leave.
JOB BENEFIT & PROTECTION
For the duration of FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee's health coverage under any "group health plan". Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee's leave.
UNLAWFUL ACTS BY EMPLOYERS
FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA; discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.
The U. S. Department of Labor is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of violations. An eligible employee may bring a civil action against an employer for violations. FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Contact the nearest office of the Wage & Hour Division, listed in most telephone directories under U. S. Government, Department of Labor.
Application forms for the family medical leave act can be obtained from the secretary of your school or department.