The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers with more than 50 employees (within a 75-mile radius) to grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work to care for a new baby, a newly-fostered or -adopted child, or a seriously-ill child, spouse, or parent. The FMLA also requires covered employers to grant a leave of up to 12 weeks for an eligible employee to care for his or her own serious medical condition. To be eligible for protected leave under the FMLA, the employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer in the 12 months preceding the leave of absence. Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12 month period. If necessary, such leave may be taken intermittently (sporadically). The employer must hold the employee’s job (or a comparable one) while the employee is out on FMLA leave.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, enforces the FMLA. Complaints of FMLA violations may be filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, or in federal court within two years (three for willful violations).
For more information about the Family and Medical Leave Act, see:
Leave Benefits: Family & Medical Leave (from the U.S. Department of Labor)
Family and Medical Leave Act Poster (from the U.S. Department of Labor) - must be posted frequently by all employers.
The Family and Medical Leave Act: Medical Certification (from the U.S. Department of Labor)
Fact sheets on various FMLA-related topics (from the U.S. Department of Labor)
How to File a Complaint (from the U.S. Department of Labor)
This information last reviewed: Apr 3, 2019