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Most often, when your employees are sick or life takes its toll, taking paid time off is adequate; however, there are times when employees needs to take extensive time off for more serious issues. This is when the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) comes into play. FMLA took effect in 1993, in an effort to balance work and life with medical needs. FMLA includes many regulations and provisions, which can make it hard to understand. The following simple information can help you begin to understand FMLA.
Employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks off of unpaid leave during a 12-month period if they have been working for the company for at least 12 months prior to requesting the leave, and if they have worked at least 1,250 hours over that period. Employees may take this leave for their own serious medical condition, or to take care of an immediate family member who has a serious health condition. According to federal law, immediate family members are parents, spouses, and children. Some states offer additional coverage for domestic partners, parent-in-laws, siblings, and grandparents. Additionally, FMLA may also be used for “birth and bonding:” extended parental leave for the birth or adoption, or bonding with a new foster child.