DEFINITION of 'Family And Medical Leave Act - FMLA'

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law on August 5, 1993 by President Bill Clinton. The FMLA is a labor law requiring larger employers to provide employees unpaid leave for serious health conditions, to care for a sick family member, or to care for a newborn or adopted child.

BREAKING DOWN 'Family And Medical Leave Act - FMLA'

An employee who takes unpaid leave that falls under the FMLA is job-protected; that is, the employee can return to the same position held before the leave began. If the same position is unavailable, the employer must provide a position that is substantially equal in pay, benefits and responsibility. To qualify for FMLA, an employee must be employed by a business with 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius of his or her work site. The employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours within the last 12 months. The FMLA mandates unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks a year.

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