Work & Family Policy Database
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Subject: Family and Medical Leave, Job-Protected Leave, Military Families, Other
Statute/Code Cite: 29 U.S.C. Sec. 2601 et seq.
Year(s): 1993, 2008
Summary: Allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for family caregiving and to address their own serious health condition. The law was amended in 2008 to provide extended leaves of up to 26 weeks for family members caring for an injured service member and up to 12 weeks to military family members address “qualifying exigency” needs arising from the deployment of a service member. The FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius; employees must have one year of job tenure and worked at least 1250 hours for the employer within the past year to be eligible. Since its 1993 enactment, the FMLA has been used by workers more than 100 million times. The FMLA has allowed millions of new parents to take time away from work after the birth, adoption or foster placement of a new child and enabled millions of family caregivers to assist loved ones with serious health conditions.
This database provides short summaries of bills and statutes. The summaries are not intended to constitute legal advice. To find out how laws relate to your particular situation, you must contact a lawyer who specializes in employees’ rights, the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division (1-866-4USWAGE), your state labor department and/or your union.