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Wage and Hour Division
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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Family and Medical Leave Act

Overview

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to:

  • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
    • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
    • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
    • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
    • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
    • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

Key News

  • The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division published a Final Rule to implement statutory amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). The final rule expands the military family leave provisions and incorporates a special eligibility provision for airline flight crew employees, as well as making some additional regulatory changes. More information is available at the Wage and Hour Division’s FMLA Final Rule Website (February 5, 2013).
  • The Department of Labor released findings of a survey titled Family and Medical Leave Act in 2012: Final Report which shows that FMLA continues to make a positive impact on the lives of workers without imposing an undue burden upon employers and employers and employees alike find it relatively easy to comply with the law. More information is available on the Wage and Hour Division’s FMLA Survey Webpage. (February 4, 2013)
  • The Wage and Hour Division issued an Administrator Interpretation providing guidance on the definition of “son or daughter” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as it applies to an individual 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. FMLA AI 2013-1, Fact Sheet, FAQs (January 14, 2013)
  • WHD hosted a webinar that walked through the basic provisions of the FMLA using the new Employee Guide and answered the public’s general FMLA questions. View the archived webinar and frequently asked questions. (June 27, 2012).
  • As part of the Department’s continuing effort to spread the word about the FMLA and make the FMLA more accessible, WHD released an Employee Guide to the FMLA, a 16-page, plain language booklet designed to answer common FMLA questions and clarify who can take FMLA leave and what protections the FMLA provides. Download or Order the FMLA Employee Guide. (June 20, 2012)
  • The Wage and Hour Division issued an Administrator Interpretation clarifying the definition of "son and daughter" under the Family and Medical Leave Act to ensure that an employee who assumes the role of caring for a child receives parental rights to family leave regardless of the legal or biological relationship. FMLA AI 2010-3, Press Release (June 22, 2010)
  • FMLA Press Releases

General Guidance

Fact Sheets

e-Tools

Posters

Forms

Interpretive Guidance

Applicable Laws, Regulations, Rules, and Histories