What Are the Major Provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act?


Quick Answer

The major provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act specify an employee’s leave entitlement, eligibility requirements, benefits and protections, use of leave, and responsibilities, explains the U.S. Department of Labor. This information is included in FMLA compliance posters, which covered employers must display prominently in the workplace.

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Full Answer

Eligible employees are entitled to 12 work weeks of job-protected unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Reasons for such leave include pregnancy and childbirth, caring for a newborn or newly adopted child, an employee’s serious health condition, and the serious health condition of an employee’s spouse, child or parent. Immediate family members of active duty military personnel may qualify for medical leave up to 26 weeks for certain situations.

Employees must work for a covered employer for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding their application for medical leave under FMLA, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. Employers may require employees to substitute paid leave, and employees are subject to established leave policies. Leave may be taken all at once, or it may be taken intermittently.

Covered employers include all government agencies and private companies with more than 50 employees working more than 20 weeks per year, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. These employers must inform employees whether they are eligible for FMLA leave and whether their absence is designated as FMLA leave. Employers may not interfere with employees using FMLA leave or deny them the rights or protections guaranteed within it.

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