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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

  • On March 26, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, in Texas v. United States, Civil Action No. 7:15-cv-00056 (N.D. Tex.), granted a request made by the states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska for a preliminary injunction with respect to the Department's Final Rule revising the regulatory definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). (March 27, 2015)
  • The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division today announced a Final Rule to revise the definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, which found section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional. The Final Rule amends the definition of spouse so that eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages will be able to take FMLA leave to care for their spouse or family member, regardless of where they live. More information is available at the Wage and Hour Division’s FMLA Final Rule Website. (February 23, 2015).

General Guidance

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Interpretive Guidance

Applicable Laws, Regulations, Rules, and Histories