The Family and Medical Act of 1993

Employees of covered employers who meet certain requirements are protected by the Family and Medical Act of 1993 from the loss of their job because of family and medical situations that may occur. This addition to the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) is crucial for families that have had major medical events. These regulations allow for specific amounts of time to be taken off for family and medical events, like the birth of a child or the serious illness of a family member. In these situations the employee is allowed a specific amount of unpaid time off with the protection of their position.

Qualified employees are eligible to take a leave for up to 12 weeks unpaid and with job-protection in a 12 month period. This unpaid, job-protected time can be taken for the birth of a newborn child or the adoption or foster care of a child. It can also be taken off for the care of a spouse, parent or child with a serious illness or if the employee him or herself is unable to work because of a serious illness.

All of these situations are dependent on the qualifications of both the employee and the employer. Employees of public agencies, local education providers and private-sector employers who employ at least 50 people for at least 20 weeks each year, may be protected by this Act. The employees of those qualified employers must also meet certain requirements to be considered protected by the Family and Medical Act. Employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked a minimum of 1250 hours for the employer in the previous 12 months. Also, the employer must employ at least 50 people within 75 miles of the employee to be covered by these regulations.

One final group of employees that is protected by this Act is those employees who are spouse, parent or child to an injured service member who is in need of care. Also, the spouse, child or parent of a member of the National Guard or Reserves who is soon to be deployed may be protected by this act. Protection for the family of service people extends for up to 26 weeks in a 12 month period and is also subject to the same employee and employer relationships for the family and medical situations.