What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?
Families are an important component of society and keeping a healthy work/life balance often requires extra effort on behalf of all parties to be successful.
To support this effort the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed in 1993 as a United States labor law. This law allows employees to take unpaid leave due to serious health conditions that makes the employee unable to perform his/her job, to care for a sick family member, or to care for a new child (including by birth, adoption or foster care).
Keeping work and life in balance
Whether the leave is paid or unpaid, employers have a number of obligations that need to be followed to ensure employees receive the benefits of this law. For example, it is illegal to fire an employee because he or she must take a medical leave. Also when an employee returns to work the employee is ensured the same position that they had before they left or a position that is substantially equal in pay, benefits and responsibility.
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a great assistance to families who are trying to ensure a healthy work/life balance. However, when not followed by the employer it can cause additional stress and strain on a family already dealing with significant health or medical issues. That is not the time to be dealing with issues of unfair and illegal treatment by an employer.