Family and Medical Leave Act

Posted in Human Resources Terms, Total Reads: 1627

Definition: Family and Medical Leave Act

Family and Medical Leave Act, 1993 is a Federal law of United States of America that instructs employers to provide employers paid leaves in case of health and family emergencies and also make sure that such leaves do not affect the employees career prospects.


Some of the situations in which this act will be considered valid are:

• Personal illness especially long term illnesses

• Illness of immediate and dependent family member

• Military leave

• Pregnancy leaves

• Adoption or foster care placement related leaves etc.


Features of the Act:

• Employees can take at most 12 weeks of paid leaves in a duration of 12 months

• Employees should be associated with the organization for more than 12 months

• Work hours clocked by the employee in 12 months should be at least 1250 hours


The employees who are not covered under the provisions of the act:

• Workers of businesses which has lesser than 50 employees

• Part time workers who do not meet the criteria of employment tenure

• Only applicable in case of illness of the immediate families i.e. parents, spouse and children

• Short term illnesses such as cold

• Employees who require routine medical care


In India, the leave policies of the organizations cover the following situations:

• Maternity leave: Organizations provide maternity leaves of about 4-6 months. Ladies taking maternity leaves are to be reinstated in their previous positions when they join back and their career prospects cannot be harmed in any way

• Sick leave: Sick leaves are provided as per required. Usually companies allocate a certain number of days as sick leave. However, some companies nowadays also provide unlimited sick leaves

• Vacation or personal leave: A certain number of days are allocated every year for personal leaves of the employees. These leaves can be availed by the employees as per their convenience as vacations or single day off. Personal leaves are of 21-30 days.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Family and Medical Leave Act along with its overview.

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