The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

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The balancing act of family and work can be very difficult at times. At some point in everyone’s life, he or she will need to take time off of work to deal with family matters. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 was created to help employees find a balance between the challenging demands of work and home. This Act allows eligible workers that require time off for personal reasons or family emergencies up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave.

During the 1992 presidential campaign, Governor Bill Clinton promoted implementing an act that would grant families a temporary medical leave under certain circumstances. He pushed for a change in the labor law that would protect workers that were caring for their families. Once elected in office, he made the Family Medical Leave Act a top legislative priority. The 103rd U.S. Congress enacted the FMLA bill. Bill Clinton signed the bill into law on February 5th, 1993 and it took effect six months later on August 5th, 1993 (Advantages). The Family and Medical Leave Act is administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.

The FMLA was passed to help families in the time of a crisis so that the individuals would not have to choose between work and personal responsibilities. The eligible employees are permitted to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. The leave can last up to twelve workweeks in any twelve-month period. Reasons for leave include: pregnancy, prenatal complications, adoption/ fostering of a child, hospitalization, care of an immediate family member, or a health condition that makes the employee unable to do his or her job (Solis). This law applies to any employer “engaging in commerce” ...

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