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Fmla (Family Medical Leave Act)

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Autor:   •  July 16, 2011  •  1,248 Words (5 Pages)  •  706 Views

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Family Medical Leave Act

As an employer you want to hire and maintain a professional and knowledgeable work staff. In order to do this, the job needs to offer qualifying individuals with incentives. These incentives not only include competitive salaries but flattering benefits as well. People hear of the usual sick days offered or the week or two weeks of vacation time yet many are unfamiliar with the benefits that fall under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA requires an employer to be covered under the act and that an employee be eligible for such benefits prior to receiving the benefits.

President Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act into law on February 5, 1993. Bennett-Alexander and Hartman (2007) state that the act applies to employers who employ 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. You have a job with a company that employees more than 50 people from the surrounding area but how do you know if you are eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act?

Eligible employees are those who must 1) work for an employer that is covered by FMLA regulations; 2) been employed with this employer for a minimum total of 12 months; 3) within the 12 months of employment, worked a minimum of 1,250 hours; 4) work within the United States or in any territory or possession of the United States in which their employer employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles (DOL, 1995).

Often after couples marry, they consider the possibilities of having children. What if one or both of the spouses has a job that is necessary to provide for the members of this family; what will happen to their position at their place of employment if they decide to have a baby? With the population continuously increasing, the need for family benefits is on the rise. This is where the Family and Medical Leave Act can come into play for an individual or a couple. If eligible, the first thing an employer has to do is post the rules and regulations of the company that cover the Family and Medical Leave Act in the work environment.

Then if the eligible employee wants to request leave under the FMLA, the employer is required to allow the individual to take such leave if the reasons include:

• Situations in which the employee is unable to work

because of illness or other health difficulties.

• Placement with the employee or a child for

adoption or foster care.

• Birth and care of the newborn child of the employee.

• Caring for an immediate family member with serious

health difficulties (immediate family members are

defined as spouse, child, or parent).

(Answers Corporation, 2007, Leave Entitlement Section, Ð'¶ 1)

The act states that a parent, either mother or father, can take up to twelve weeks of leave to care for the birth of their newborn child. In addition, a father is authorized to take care of the mother prior to or after the birth of the child if a physician sees that such a necessity exists. If both parents work for the same employer, the employer has the right to grant both the mother and father of the child a total of twelve weeks of leave time. A consideration of many employees who decide to have a child is will they be able to keep their job if they take leave for the birth and care of their newborn child.

If an employee has taken FMLA leave and returns within the twelve-week period, that employee has the right to their job position they possessed prior to the absence, or a position/title comparable, complete with comparable wages, benefits, and any other terms that the employer provides (Answers Corporation, 2007).

Prior to the passing of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978, the Supreme Court did not consider discrimination on the notion of one being pregnant as a form of gender discrimination under Title VII (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007). Many times employers do have policies pertaining to leave procedures when an employee becomes pregnant yet often times they disregard such policies.

Examples of such disregard include termination of an employee once found to be pregnant, refusal to provide entitled benefits to the pregnant employee, denying a pregnant employee to maintain working on the job site when the employee is


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