What Is FMLA Leave?


Quick Answer

FMLA refers to the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was drafted by the National Partnership for Women and Families and signed into law by President Clinton in 1993. The law allows eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid leave for specific medical and family reasons.

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Full Answer

The U.S. Department of Labor specifies that a worker may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period without fear of losing employment in the following circumstances: after the birth or adoption of a child; to care for a parent, spouse, son, or daughter with a serious health condition; and for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to fulfill the essential functions of the job. The medical leave act also covers situations arising out of covered active military duty of a parent, spouse, child or said employee.

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