Essay on FMLA Family And Medical Leave Act

Submitted By wlara29
Words: 2124
Pages: 9


The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law in the United States of America that requires all covered employers to provide to employees unpaid and job-protected leaves whenever there arises medical and family reasons (Budd et al. 2003). Such reasons may include, among others: pregnancy, illnesses, adoption and family military leave. This law is administered by the State’s Wage and Hour Division.
Enactment date
This bill was signed into law on 5th, 1993, taking effect on 1993, August 5th. During Bill Clinton’s first term in office, the bill was a major agenda. The intention was to find a good balance between workplace needs and family-life needs. Over the years, the two needs were overlapping, giving workers a hard time to balance. According to its provisions, eligible employees are allowed to take a maximum of12 week of leave that is unpaid to attend to serious issues that may warrant one to be absent from taking their duties in the workplace. One precondition for the leave to materialize is that the employee must have worked in the business for more than 12 months. This law targets both the private sector and public sector employees. Although the argument is that the law covers all employees in the country, some categories of employees are excluded. Officials that are elected by citizens and their staff members are excluded from this law (Budd et al. 2003).

Parameters, rules and regulations of the Act
There are basic parameters that one must meet in order to qualify for the mandate of FMLA. For instance, one requirement is to be employed with more than 50 employees, all within a radius of 75 miles from the worksite. For one to qualify, they must also prove that they have worked in the workplace for at least twelve months for the employer in question. One is not required to have consecutively worked in the twelve months provided. However, one must prove that in the last 12 months, they have worked for a minimum of 1250 hours. Some airline employees, however, have special hour rules (Budd et al. 2003).
As already argued above, FMLA serves to give the employees an opportunity to address many issues. The benefits that the employees get from this law cannot be underrated. For instance, one can get adequate time to recover from serious illnesses. When such is the case, the employee will not worry about his employment status as the law protects them. Persons who need time to cater for injured family members and close relatives are also eligible to apply for to be accorded the leave. Such benefits were hard to come by before the bill was enacted into law. Employee protection was mostly done by the civil groups who lacked adequate legal backing. With the law in place, the employers have a task to ensuring that the employee’s needs are catered for.
The Family and Medical Leave Act directs employers to give provide for employees a number of benefits. In doing so, uniformity is always paramount. The law requires that whether or not an employee is on leave, they should be accorded health insurance benefits similar to those of other employees, including the contributions to premiums by employers. This gives the employees the necessary balance in that those who are on leave are equally treated like those who are on duty. Upon completing the leave, the employer has a responsibility to restore an employee to a similar position he/she was in before going for the leave. In case such a position is not available, the employer should ensure they put the employee in a position that has equal benefits, pay and responsibilities to those the employee was subjected to before going for the leave. What this implies is that an employee should be reinstated or entitled to all the benefits they enjoyed in the workplace before they left for the leave. Employers are prohibited from interfering with the rights of employees who are on leave as they should be treated