definition of Wikipedia
||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (March 2009)|
|Full title||An Act To grant family and temporary medical leave under certain circumstances.|
|Enacted by the||103rd United States Congress|
|Public Law||Pub.L. 103-3|
|Stat.||107 Stat. 6|
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a United States federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. Qualified medical and family reasons include: personal or family illness, family military leave, pregnancy, adoption, or the foster care placement of a child. The FMLA is administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.
The bill was a major part of President Bill Clinton's agenda in his first term. President Clinton signed the bill into law on February 5, 1993 (Pub.L. 103-3; 29 U.S.C. sec. 2601; 29 CFR 825) and it took effect on August 5, 1993, six months later.
The FMLA requires larger employers to provide unpaid leave to certain workers in the United States. The law recognizes the growing needs of balancing family, work, and obligations, and promises numerous protections to workers.
Prior to the passage of the FMLA, the provision of leave for family or medical reasons was left to the discretion of individual employers. Employees making a request for leave could be denied for any reason, and employees could be fired for taking family and medical leave. When workers changed jobs, even within the same company, they could not be sure that their requests for leave would be treated consistently: "[S]ome employers had formal leave policies that were applied uniformly to their workforces while others had informal policies and the granting of leave depended on the particular circumstances."
In 2007, the Department of Labor estimated that of the 141.7 million workers in the United States, 94.4 million worked at FMLA-covered worksites, and 76.1 million were eligible for FMLA leave. Between 8 percent and 17.1 percent of covered and eligible workers (or between 6.1 million and 13.0 million workers) took FMLA leave in 2005. The 2008 National Survey of Employers found no statistically significant difference between the proportion of small employers (79%) and large employers (82%) that offer full FMLA coverage.
To qualify for the FMLA mandate, a worker must be employed by a business with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of his or her worksite, or a public agency, including schools and state, local, and federal employers (the 50-employee threshold does not apply to public agency employees and local educational agencies). He or she must also have worked for that employer for at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutive) and 1,250 hours within the last 12 months.
The FMLA mandates unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks a year:
The FMLA further requires employers to provide for eligible workers:
The federal FMLA does not apply to:
Some states have enacted laws that mandate additional family and medical leave for workers in a variety of ways.
The federal FMLA only applies to employers with 50 or more employees. Some states have enacted their own FMLAs that have a lower threshold for employer coverage:
The federal FMLA only applies to immediate family—parent, spouse, and child. The 2008 amendments to the FMLA for military family members extend the FMLA’s protection to next of kin and to adult children. The Department of Labor on June 22, 2010 clarified the definition of "son and daughter" under the FMLA "to ensure that an employee who assumes the role of caring for a child receives parental rights to family leave regardless of the legal or biological relationship" and specifying that "an employee who intends to share in the parenting of a child with his or her same sex partner will be able to exercise the right to FMLA leave to bond with that child." Some states had already expanded the definition of family in their own FMLAs:
FMLA leave can be used for a worker’s serious health condition, the serious health condition of a family member, or upon the arrival of a new child. State FMLA laws and the new military family provisions of the FMLA have broadened these categories:
Several states have passed FMLA-type statutes to give parents unpaid leave to attend their child’s school or educational activities. Examples include: California, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont. Some states have passed FMLA-type statutes to give workers unpaid leave to take family members to routine medical visits, including Massachusetts and Vermont. And states have passed FMLA-type statutes to give workers unpaid leave to address the effects of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. Examples include Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, and Illinois.
Critics of the act have suggested that by mandating various forms of leave that are used more often by female than male employees, the Act, like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, makes women more expensive to employ than men. They argue that employers will engage in subtle discrimination against women in the hiring process, discrimination which is much less obvious to detect than pregnancy discrimination against the already hired. Supporters counter that the act, in contrast to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, is aimed at both women and men, and is part of an overall strategy to encourage both men and women to take family-related leave in In January, 2011, two grieving parents, Kelly Farley of Chicago and Barry Kluger, of Scottsdale, Arizona, began a national petition to urge Congress to amend the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 to include loss of a child, which currently is not covered in the national bill nor the states, although Maine offers leave for a service member killed in action.The Farley-Kluger Initiative is supported by Parents of Murdered Children (POMC), the military organizations Blue Star Families, Marine Parents.com, Gold Star Family Support, The JED Foundation (college-age suicide), The American Institute of of Healthcare Professionals, The American Academy of Grief Counselors, The Children's Bereavement Center, the M.I.S.S. Foundation and others. http://www.farleykluger.com In Summer of 2011, Sen.Jon Tester (D-MT), inspired by signatures and letters received from the Farley-Kluger Initiative Petition, introduced S1358, The Parental Bereavement Act of 2011 and it currently sits in Committee in the Senate. S1358 has five co-sponsors; Sens. Durbin, McCaskill, Brown, Begich and Akaka. The Farley-Kluger Initiative has received major media coverage and as of May 7, 2012, had more than 36,000 petitions sent. The focus of this movement will center on the new 113th Congress for a companion House Bill with a rally planned for February 5, 2013, the 20th anniversary of the FMLA.
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