Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

A federal law requiring employers to give covered employees unpaid, job protected leave from employment (29 U.S.C. §§ 2601 to 2654). Coverage for employees generally requires that the employee:

  • Have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months that need not be consecutive.

  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours over the 12 months immediately before the leave.

Coverage for employers requires a minimum of 50 employees. Employees are not covered if they work at a facility with fewer than a total of 50 employees working within 75 miles of that facility.

Qualifying reasons for FMLA leave include:

  • Birth and care of an employee's newborn child.

  • Placement of an employee's adopted or foster child with the employee.

  • Care of an employee's immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) with a serious health condition ( .

  • The employee's serious health condition that prevents the employee from performing the functions of the job.

  • Providing care for a family member who is a covered servicemember who has a serious injury or illness.

  • Certain qualifying exigencies ( arising because a military member is on covered active duty, is on call to covered active duty status, or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty status.

Special rules apply to airline flight crew employees.

For more information, see Practice Notes, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Basics ( , and Military Leave Law: Military Caregiver Leave ( and Exigency Leave ( .

The FMLA is administered by the Department of Labor ( .

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