Family and Medical Leave Act

FMLA embodies provisions on coverage of employer, the benefits of employees, requirements for entitlement, continuity of health benefits during leave, returning to the same position after the leave, notice and certification, and security of employees who avail of such leave (The Family, 2004). It is a social welfare law with a noble purpose, which is to give employees a balanced work-family life. In this sense, the employee can render assistance to family members in their health or medical needs without imperiling his or her security at work (FMLA History, n.d.). It also aims to provide economic security to the employee and advance the interest of the government in upholding the integrity and stability of the family (FMLA History, n.d.). Thus, while it sought to accommodate the goals of employers, it also seeks to lessen discrimination on account of sex and promote equality among male and female employees (FMLA History, n.d.). With FMLA, the employee can have time to attend to the needs of the child, an elder or newly-born baby (FMLA History, n.d.) without fear of losing the job. FMLA intends to reconcile the interests of both employers and employees on the aspect of providing urgent care for family members (FMLA History, n.d.). It is administered and enforced by the U.S. Department of Labors Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division (The Family, 2004). Complaints are handled by the Wage and Hour Division and if not resolved, the Department of Labor can file a case in court to enforce compliance (The Family, 2004). A private civil case can also be filed by individual employees against the employer for violation or non-compliance with the law (The Family, 2004). As defined in the law, serious health condition refers to the physical or mental condition, illness or injury.

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