What’s in store for the Family and Medical Leave Act?

2013 signified the twenty-year anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act in the United States. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 mandates that covered employers offer as many as 12 weeks of unpaid leave without jeopardizing the job status of eligible employees for various family and individual medical situations. These medical situations include pregnancy and care for a newborn, placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition and the employee’s own serious health condition. Passing the law in 1993 was a victory for many who wanted to protect the welfare of American families. Wisconsin families and individuals continue the effort to provide job security in a time of need; 2014 may mark a new milestone for the law if Congress takes action.

In 2008, Congress extended FMLA for more coverage for military families, and in 2009, the President singed into law the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act to protect flight attendants and pilots under the FMLA. Since then, there has not been any changes or additions made to the Act. Overall, the FMLA has successfully protected over 100 million incidents of unpaid leave to date. However, many believe that it is not enough, and that leave with pay is needed.

An opportunity to support the Act by writing in an insurance policy that will provide workers with paid leave is the new movement underway. The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act was recently introduced to further develop the advancement of protection for families in America. Congress sees the new act as a double win for the country, due to the fact that it will protect families financially and ensure that the economy will be strengthened.

When a family or medical need requires an individual to take time off from work in Wisconsin, what are the procedures that must follow? If an employer places roadblocks in the way, what recourse should be taken? The Family and Medical Leave Act has been established to protect these rights for qualifying employees. Those who feel that their rights have been jeopardized may wish to seek help in determining the best steps to take.

Source: usnews.com, Congress Should Pass the FAMILY Act to Provide Workers Paid Leave, Chris Dodd, Dec. 26, 2013

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