Understanding Leave Under the Family Medical Leave Act

Understanding Leave Under the Family Medical Leave Act

Family Medical Leave Act

When an employee is unable to work for health or family reasons, they may face the prospect of taking leave or giving up their position within a company. Research into the FMLA shows that it balances the interests of workers and companies so everyone benefits.

What Is the Family Medical Leave Act?

The FMLA serves to balance work and family obligations by allowing employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain situations. Employers must offer them the same or an equivalent position on their return. Workers also continue to receive health and other employee benefits while they are taking unpaid leave.  These protections apply to employees of most, but not all, companies.

When Should Workers Apply for Leave?

Leave is allowed under FMLA for specific health or family situations. These include:

  • The birth of a baby or adoption of a child
  • To care for a child or other family member who is facing a serious illness
  • An injury to the employee that keeps them from performing their regular job duties

Workers faced with an illness or who need to take leave to care for a family member may be entitled to take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. It protects them against job loss while also limiting protected leave to 12 weeks to preserve the interests of businesses.