Family and Medical Leave—Unpaid

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FMLA Explained

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that gives employees job-protected, unpaid time off for certain family and medical events. Employees who meet certain eligibility requirements receive up to 12 work weeks of leave for most FMLA-qualifying reasons, which include their own serious health conditions; to care for a parent, spouse or child with a serious health condition; for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child with an employee; as well as leave relating to a family member’s call to military duty. (An employee may be entitled to up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave to care for an injured military service member.)


Please note: There are also state laws that provide family and medical leave rights in addition to what is provided under the FMLA. Therefore, it is important to ensure that applicable state laws are being followed. Contact your Human Resources representative for more information.


The FMLA is complex. You should contact your HR representative or consult your HR policies and procedures if you have questions. For additional information, you can also consult the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.

Job benefits and protection

  • For the duration of FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee's health coverage under any group health plan.
  • Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or an equivalent position, with equivalent pay, benefits, and terms of employment.
  • The use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of employment benefits that accrued prior to the start of an employee's leave.


Unlawful acts by employers

The FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to:

  • Interfere with, restrain or deny the exercise of any right provided under the FMLA.
  • Discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by the FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding relating to the FMLA.

For more information on the FMLA, please click here.

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