The Family and Medical Leave Act took effect on Aug. 5, 1993, and provides certain employees with job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks per year, explains the U.S. Department of Labor. The purpose of the law is to provide employees with balance in their work and family lives.
Employees must meet certain requirements to qualify for FMLA leave, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Employees must have 12 months of continuous employment with their current employer and must have accumulated 1,250 hours during those 12 months. The law also requires individuals to work for an employer with at least 50 employees.