Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) was established to help protect employees who missed work for medical reasons. "The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides employees job protection in case of family or medical emergency. FMLA permits eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period." (Martocchio, 2003) The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for administrating and enforcing most of the labor laws, including FMLA. There are four reasons that an employee can claim FMLA. They are 1) for the birth and care for a newborn child; 2) for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care; 3) to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; and 4) to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition. "Covered employers must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of these reasons" (U. S. Department of Labor [USDL], n.d.) There are several qualifications that both employers and employees must have in order to qualify for FMLA. An employer covered by FMLA is one who employs 50 or more employees. The employee must be employed with the company for at least 12 months. Now that FMLA has been around for over ten years now, one would think that the administration of this law would be easy. However, that is no the case. There are primarily two reasons it is so cumbersome to work with. "First, the Department of Labor regulations are too voluminous. They are nearly 100 pages long and replete with inconsistent and unclear language. Second, the regulations are not integrated with the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA")." (Cohen & McLeod, 2003). Even though the effect of this law has been favorable for employees, the impact to the employer is not as encouraging. Because of this law, it is...
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