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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Leave Benefits

Many companies offer leave benefits that allow employees to take time off from work for various reasons. Leave benefits — whether paid, unpaid or partially paid — are generally an agreement between the employer and employee, or employees representative (such as a union).

Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act 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.

Fair Labor Standards Act
While certain types of leave are required by law, other types are voluntary incentives provided by employers. There is a common misconception that Department of Labor regulates leave benefits through the Fair Labor Standards Act. But, the FLSA only covers certain types of leave.

In fact, there are a number of employment practices which FLSA does not regulate. For example, it does not require:

  • Vacation, holiday, severance, or sick pay
  • Meal or rest periods, holidays off, or vacations
  • Premium pay for weekend or holiday work
  • Pay raises or fringe benefits
  • Discharge notice, reason for discharge, or immediate payment of final wages to terminated employees.

The Employee Benefits Survey (EBS) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) covers the incidence and characteristics of employee benefits.