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    Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

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    1) Employee Safety, Health, and Welfare Law Paper

    a. From the following employee safety, health, and welfare laws:

    2) Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    b. Explain the application of the law in the current employment environment. Describe the impetus of the selected law and how it evolved from organized labor activity to more widespread application.

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    1. Explain the application of the law e.g., Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in the current employment environment.

    This question is straightforward. It is asking you to explain how the FMLA is applied in the current environment.

    The employer has the obligation to inform employees about their right to FMLA. Employers are required to post a notice for employees outlining the basic provisions of FMLA and are subject to a $100 civil money penalty per offense for willfully failing to post such notice. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against or interfering with employees who take FMLA leave. http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/fmla.htm.

    1. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.
    2. FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.
    3. FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:
    • for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
    • for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
    • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
    • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
    4. Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work.
    5. Time taken off work due to pregnancy complications can be counted against the 12 weeks of family and medical leave.
    6. Special rules apply to employees of local education agencies. The Department of Labor administers FMLA; however, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers FMLA for most federal employees.
    (Source: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm).

    Example: More detail on each qualifying reasons for FMLA

    Having or Adopting a Baby

    Anyone who is pregnant or who is adopting a baby (or taking in a foster child) can take FMLA leave. A woman who takes her leave for pregnancy can use her accrued sick time as part of her leave; those who are adopting cannot. FMLA leave for the arrival of a baby is not limited to women. Men who want to take time off after a child is born and single men who decide to adopt a child are entitled to the same 12 weeks of FMLA leave that women can get. Moreover, a married couple can take 12 weeks apiece, so that, for example, a new baby could have at least one parent home for 24 weeks. If the couple works for the same company, however, they are only entitled to a total of 12 weeks between them.

    Family Members and Serious Illness

    FMLA allows employees to take up to 12 weeks off to take care of an immediate family member who is seriously ill. A child who is recuperating from major surgery, a parent suffering from Alzheimer's disease, or a spouse recovering from an auto accident are examples. The stipulation is that the person being cared for must be immediate family; an in-law or a favorite second cousin would not count. Serious illness can include stroke and heart attack, complications from pregnancy, pneumonia, sever arthritis, and epilepsy. Clearly not every condition will require the full 12–week leave to be used up at one time. But FMLA allows employees to break up their leave time, so long as it does not exceed 12 weeks per year.

    Employee's Illness

    Employees who suffer serious illness are also covered under FMLA. If, for example, a worker needs to stay home for six weeks to recuperate from back surgery but the worker only has two weeks sick leave, that worker is entitled to FMLA leave. The employer has the right to require the employee to take accrued paid time as part of the 12–week leave.

    (Excerpted from http://law.enotes.com/everyday-law-encyclopedia/90014).

    Let’s look at the following example, which explains the application of FMLA in more detail, although there is some overlap:

    Example 1: (Excerpt)

    Family and medical leave: Navigating the murky waters
    The FMLA process can often prove to be a confusing myriad of forms, deadlines, and rules. To help supervisors move through Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) responsibilities with their employees in the quickest and most “confusion-free” way possible, we’re providing a three-part overview of the process.
    In this issue of LeadingEdition, we’ll briefly cover the history of FMLA, University policy regarding FMLA, and the three ways employees may take FMLA leave.
    FMLA history
    Let’s first review the FMLA, enacted on ...

    Solution Summary

    Referring to employee safety, health and welfare laws, this solution examines the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and explains the application of the law in the current employment environment. It also describes the impetus of this law and how it evolved from organized labor activity to more widespread application.