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In 1993 Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act FMLA to provide a national policy that supports families in their efforts to balance their work and family responsibilities by taking reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons The FMLA provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave per year The FMLA also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promotes equal opportunity for men and women Executive Summary 1999 Before the Family and Medical Leave Act employees had access to family and medical leave in two ways 1 Voluntary or collectively bargaining employer policies 2 Policies required by state leave statutes The Act was passed because Congress found that h The number of single-parent households and two-parent households in which the single parent or both parents work is increasing significantly and h It is important for the development of children and the family unit that fathers and mothers be able to participate in early childrearing and the care of family members who have serious health conditions It is the purpose of this Act - h To balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families to promote the stability and economic security of families and to promote national interests in preserving family integrity h To entitled employees to take reasonable leave for medical reasons for the birth or adoption of a child and for the care of a child spouse or parent who has a serious health condition and h To promote the goal of equal employment opportunity for men and women Employment Standards Administration 1999 The FMLA applies to all public agencies privatepublic elementary and secondary schools and employers who employed 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year and are in the commerce industry The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 1999 Once covered the
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