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The Family and Medical Leave Act

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February 2018

The Family and Medical Leave Act

Did you know that before the Family and Medical Leave Act it was very common for employees to lose their jobs when they had to take a week off work (Figueroa, Amelia)? This was very common before FMLA with women, but also with men.

The Family and Medical Leave Act was created in 1993 to protect the jobs of men and women (Figueroa, Amelia). The Family and Medical Leave Act is an act that provides job protection in times of need, but it can be denied. “The Family and Medical Leave Act, FMLA became law in 1993 and requires certain employers to provide eligible employees 12 workweeks of unpaid leave a year”(Nestor-Harper, Mary). While the leave is unpaid it does provide job protection and benefits for workers while they are unable the work . “The act is intended to promote the stability and economic security of families as well as the nation’s interest in preserving the integrity of families”(Figueroa, Amelia).

FMLA also provides that employees who take leave cannot be discriminated or terminated for doing so, and it also allows employee’s who have been discriminated against to bring suit for their lost wages and other damages (Reuters, Thomson). This means that if the employees job cannot be put at risk while they are on FMLA leave at any time. The law states that all employees jobs are protected while FMLA is being enforced. “The act is intended to promote the stability and economic security of families as well as the nation’s interest in preserving the integrity of families” (Figueroa, Amelia). “Before FMLA women routinely lost their jobs when they took 4 weeks off or more to have a child. The result was limited career prospects for women. Some women even endangered their health by returning to work too soon in an effort to protect their jobs” (Reuters, Thomson).

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides unpaid leave for the birth of a child, the adoption of a child, and for prenatal care if necessary (Reuters, Thomson and Figueroa, Amelia). FMLA also covers the health condition of that employee and also if the employee’s son, daughter, spouse, or parent, has a serious medical condition (Nestor-Harper, Mary).

This demonstrates that FMLA is meant to help an employees well-being and not hurt them. “To qualify for benefits an employee must be employed with the company for at least 12 months and worked for at least 1250 hours during the 12 months prior to the leave” (Nestor-Harper, Mary). If these qualifications are not met or accepted, depending on the need for leave, FMLA can be denied. For example, an employee can be denied leave if they do not have an eligible need for leave (Nestor-Harper, Mary).

Also, an employer can deny leaving if the employee’s medical condition is not serious enough (Nestor-Harper, Mary). “Sometimes an employee may also use vacation or sick time as an alternative if FMLA is not an option or may consider taking short-term or long-term disability if offered through an employer” (Reuters, Thomson). FMLA is not always offered in every situation. “Employers are required to post a notice for employees outlining the basic provisions of FMLA and are subject a $100 penalty for willingly failing to post such notice” (Figueroa, Amelia). Therefore, this means that the employers can be punished for not posting the employer’s notice for leave.

Overall, FMLA is an act that protects an employees job. The act protects job security during pregnancy, adoption, health conditions, (etc). FMLA can be denied although on rare occasions it is. The Family and Medical Leave Act is an act that provides job protection when needed but it can be denied.

Works Cited

Reuters, Thomson. “FMLA Eligibility – Findlaw.” Findlaw, 2018,

Nestor-Harper, Mary. “In What Circumstance Can You Deny FMLA?.” Smallbusiness.Chron.Com, 2018,

Figueroa, Amelia. “History Of FMLA Explained | Labor Law Education Center: Learn About Labor Laws In Your State.” Laborlawcenter.Com, 2016,

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