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Introduction to the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

Since 1993, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) has provided employees unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical events.  These events include childbirth, adoption, and an employee’s own serious health condition or that of an immediate family member. 

Covered employers must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • For the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee;
  • For placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
  • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or  
  • To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

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