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What is the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.

The FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers, and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.

FMLA applies to companies with 50 or more employees. (It also applies to all public agencies, and all public and private elementary and secondary schools.) These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for any of the following reasons:


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