Why the Current FMLA Policy is not Enough?
May 26, 2013
Why the Current FMLA policy is not Enough?
The dynamics of the American family have changed. No longer is a working father, stay at home mother, and kids considered the norm. Even the definition of “family” has changed dramatically. Changes in the American “norm” raise an important question, “Should the Family and Medical Leave Act be changed?” to meet our communities evolving needs. In the United States, the current Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) only provides up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave, but compared to other counties with similar policies the act ...view middle of the document...
No matter the makeup of the American family, finances are vital in the current economic crisis and these statistics are extremely important when contemplating changing the current FMLA legislation.
Created in 1993, FMLA entitles eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave from their jobs every year for specified family and medical reasons. It was enacted to aid employees in balancing work and personal obligations, without having to choose between the two. FMLA only applies to employers that are one of the following:1) a private-sector employer, with 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year including a joint employer or successor in interest to a covered employer. 2) Public agency, including a local, state, or Federal government agency, regardless of the number of employees. 3) Public or private elementary or secondary school, regarding of the number of employees it employs (Department of Labor [DOL], 2013). For an employee to be eligible for FMLA they must work for a covered employer, have worked for the employer for at least twelve months, have at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the twelve month period immediately preceding the leave and they must work at a location where the employer has at least fifty employees within seventy-five miles. An eligible employee may take up to twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons: The birth of a child, or placement of a child from adoption or foster care, to care for a spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition, for an employee’s own serious health condition that makes them unable to perform the essential function of their job, or for any qualifying necessity arising out of the fact that a spouse, child or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status.
In a current amendment to the act, an eligible employee may also take up 26 work weeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member of the armed forces, with a serious injury or illness. The single 12-month period for military caregiver leave is different from the 12-month period used for other FMLA leave reasons. In certain cases, such as when leave is need for planned medical treatment (i.e. chemotherapy); employees may take FMLA leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis. Employees must follow certain requirements for requesting leave and provide information for their employer to rationally determine whether the FMLA may apply to the leave request. When foreseeable, employees must request leave thirty days in advance or as soon as possible when it is not. Although FMLA is unpaid it does cover job-protection for eligible employees.
Upon return from leave, an employee must be restored to their original or comparable position with equivalent pay. If the leave is for a personal medical reason the employee...