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The Family and Medical Leave Act was signed into law on February 5th, 1993 by President Bill Clinton and is administered by the Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor. This law acknowledges the hardships associated with balancing both work and familial obligations. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-month period to eligible, insured employees for any of the following family and/or medical reasons:
According to FMLA regulations, some employer requirements include the restoration of the same or similar working position, mainly in regards to wages, to the employee upon their return to work and the preservation of employee benefits while on leave, in the case of any health coverage provided by the employer. The FMLA also protects employees from potential retaliation, discrimination, and/or revocation of rights by their employer. If such injustice happens to occur, the employee has the option to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or file a private lawsuit against the employer.
An employee seeking to go on medical leave must inform their employers at least 30 days prior to their intended parting date. The employee must also provide satisfactory information for their employer in order to confirm that they qualify for FMLA protection. If the employee does indeed qualify for FMLA coverage, the employer must provide adequate information informing the employee of their rights. If the employee is not eligible, the employer must specify a reason for their ineligibility.
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