What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that provides eligible employees with the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave of absence for the following reasons: (1) for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job; (2) to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; (3) to care for the employee’s child after birth, or to place the child up for adoption or foster care; and (4) for incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth.  The FMLA also provides for family military leave for eligible employees who have a spouse, son, daughter or parent on covered active military duty, in order to address certain qualifying exigencies.