While labor is a contractual relationship between employers and their employees, the government intervenes to ensure that the employee’s rights are not violated. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is one of the many pieces of legislation that provide for employer obligation. Accidents and family issues are inevitable in the course of employment. Therefore, it is significant for employers to grant employees leave in such events without discrimination. The FMLA is crucial in helping employees attend to their serious family and personal matters while securing their job positions.
The FMLA’s scope has various limitations in terms of applicability and rights covered. The Act is limited to employers of 50 or more employees. Therefore, employers with less than fifty employees are not obligated by the Act (Waldfogel, 1999). Additionally, the Act protects the interests of employers by limiting the number of hours employees must have worked to be granted a leave. According to the Act, an employee must have been actively involved in the organization’s work for a period of not less than twelve months in the last working year (Mory & Pistilli, 2001). However, there are special hours rules for some employees working in the airline industry (Waldfogel, 1999). While private companies are restricted to the 50 or more employees rule, public and local educational agencies are not bound to it.
FMLA covers specific kinds of leaves, preventing employees from taking advantage of the Act. The leave granted under FMLA is unpaid and involves situations such as childbirth, adoption, care for an employee relative with poor health, and employee poor health. The Act obligates the employees to take the child’s birth leave in one lump unless the employer agrees otherwise (U.S Department of Labor, 2019).
Although the leave is unpaid, the employees are allowed to enjoy the benefits that come with their employment. Therefore, FMLA protects employees by allowing them to attend to serious family issues with an assurance of a return to their jobs.
Mory, M. & Pistilli, L. (2001). The failure of the Family and Medical Leave Act: Alternative proposals for contemporary American Families. Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal, 18(2). Web.
U.S. Department of Labor (2019). The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993. Web.
Waldfogel, J. (1999). The impact of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Journal of Policy Analyss and Management, 18(2), 281–302. Web.