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Employment Law
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Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (Public Law 103-3, enacted February 5, 1993) was one of the first major new laws enacted by United States President Bill Clinton in his first term, fulfilling a campaign promise. The law recognizes the growing needs of balancing family and work obligations and promises numerous protections to workers. Some of these protections include:

Twelve (12) workweeks of leave per twelve (12) months for various reasons such as:

  • Caring for a newborn child
  • Handling adoption issues
  • Caring for a sick child or family member
  • Being physically unable to perform the worker’s job

Restoration of the same position upon return to work. If the same position is unavailable, the employer must provide the worker with a position that is equal in pay, benefits, and level

Protection of employee benefits even while on leave. An employer must return all rights that the employee received before going on leave.Protection of the employee to not have their rights under the Leave Act taken away by an employer.

Generally, the Act ensures that all workers are able to take extended leaves of absence from work to handle family issues or illness without fear of being terminated from their jobs by their employers or being forced into a lower job upon their return.

The leave guaranteed by the act is unpaid, and is only available to those working for employers with 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius. The act also applies to all U.S. government employees and to state employees, though litigation under the [Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution] has left the latter in doubt. In addition, an employee must have worked for the company at least 12 months and 1,250 hours in those 12 months. The U.S.Code cite is 29 U.S.C. sec. 2601.