Everyone at one or other point of their life suffer from family issues and problems. It includes a lot of tension and trauma. People who are working in offices often have a hard time balancing the office work and family issues which may include personal matters, medical concerns of a family member etc. Every citizen in every country is entitled to certain rights and so are the employees. The government has set up defined labour laws to protect the employees from exploitation and give them proper rights in their workspace too both as the citizens of the country and the employee for the concerned employer. The Family and Medical Leave Act or commonly known as the FMLA was signed as a law in August 1993 by the then President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton.
WHAT IS FMLA? HOW IS IT APPLICABLE?
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a law which binds the employers to provide their employers appropriate leave for serious family matters. These matters can either be personal or medical. Pregnancy, illness, adoption etc. all come under the umbrella of matters taken into consideration for Family and Medical Leave Act. This act exists in order to help the employee go through a difficult time in his/her life with resources and time. FMLA requires that employers take proper care of their employees’ health insurance and the protection of their jobs as they are responsible for their well being as a part of giving promotion labour laws. Family emergencies are supposed to be dealt with help aided by the Family And Medical Leave Act. The leave that is granted to the employees under the FMLA is usually unpaid leave but it does not pose any harm to the individual seeking FMLA leave. According to this act, an employee who is found eligible for a leave under the provisions of the Family Leave and Medical Act, after returning to the office will begin his/her job from the same position with the same pay scale, benefits and position as before. However, there are some requirements in order to qualify for the leave period. An employee can only get FMLA leave if he/she has been employed by a company or an organisation with more than 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of the workplace. The concerned employee must have been an employee for the organisation for at least the past year. The maximum time period of the leave has also been set by the committee of FMLA which is around 12 weeks per year. This means that an eligible candidate for a leave under FMLA can acquire an unpaid leave of 3 months. This is strictly a bi product of the employees’ rights and employer’s responsibilities.
PURPOSE OF FMLAThe main purpose of setting up of the Family and Medical Leave Act is to assist the employees in time of their need. In order to help maintain the stability, economic needs and welfare of the employee and his/her family, FMLA has set up responsibilities at the employer’s part. This maintains a bond of trust and respect between the two parties as well as holds both of them responsible. Employees’ rights are a must in today’s world of pay wages disparity, glass ceiling etc. The bare minimum is that the employers treat their employees as a human being and not only focus on their work ethics but also their mental and physical health. The granting of unpaid leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act is to maintain the rights of the employees as the work force of an organisation. This also ensures equal employment opportunity for both men and women as many women need to leave their jobs because of certain family matters as the organisations do not allow them to go on long eaves but when these employers are kept in check by the Family and Medical Leave Act, they have to grant leave to candidates with appropriate reasons. It is a great step towards achieving employee rights.