The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Department of Labor enforces the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This act allows eligible employees to take unpaid leave for personal medical reasons or to care for family.
Learn about your rights under the FMLA and what to do if they are violated.
Benefits of the FMLA
The FMLA allows up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in 12 months for qualifying life events. Your employer must protect your job and access to your group health benefits while you are on leave.
Eligibility for the FMLA
Not all employees are eligible for the FMLA. You must work for a covered organization to take FMLA leave. The FMLA covers:
- Private organizations with at least 50 employees
- All government agencies and public and private elementary and secondary schools
Even if your employer is covered by FMLA rules, you are not automatically eligible for FMLA leave. All of these criteria must be met to qualify for FMLA leave:
Some states have family leave programs, with different eligibility rules. Find out if your state has a program and check its eligibility rules.
Report violations of the FMLA
The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division enforces FMLA leave. Contact them with questions or complaints about FMLA coverage.
Violations of the FMLA include:
- Denial or interference with the exercising of rights under the FMLA
- Manipulation of an employee’s work hours to avoid responsibilities under the FMLA
- Retaliation for using the FMLA or participating in activities pertaining to investigations related to the FMLA
LAST UPDATED: May 26, 2023
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