Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

February 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. For three decades FMLA has had a significant impact, providing employees unpaid job protection so they can take leave to deal with personal and family medical issues.

What does it mean

For most employers (private sector with 50 or more employees, plus others) the FMLA requires providing up to 12 weeks of job protected leave of absence per year for an employee to care for a personal serious health condition, or one impacting a family member.

While unpaid, the leave requires the employer to restore a returning employee with the same or similar position with equivalent pay and benefits. It also specifies the employee’s group health coverage must be maintained at the same level/cost as prior to taking leave.

Employees may take FMLA leave for one of four reasons:

  • Own serious health condition, including pregnancy
  • Birth or placement of a child, including adoption, foster care and bonding time
  • Care for a Family Member with a Serious Health Condition
  • Care for an active or covered Military service member with a serious injury or illness

As long as the employee is eligible and follows documentation requirements, the employer cannot:

  • Interfere or restrain the employee’s FMLA rights
  • Discriminate against an employee for taking FMLA
  • Discharge as a form of retaliation for taking FMLA
  • Use the employees FMLA usage against them

Since the law was passed, Reliance Matrix has helped thousands of employers nationwide educate their employees as to the entitlements and requirements of FMLA leave. We have patented technology tools to help managers and HR departments see, understand and manage their employees’ time out of work, keeping productivity and satisfaction high while ensuring compliance under the law.