February 5, 1993, remains an auspicious day. The date marks the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Now three decades old, this landmark legislation helps millions of workers.
Many could better recognize the positive impact that FMLA continues to have. All employees should spend a moment appreciating its positive legacy.
Beneficiaries of FMLA
Because of FMLA, eligible employees can spend time away from work without fear of losing their jobs. Those needing to care for themselves due to illness, a newborn or a family member in failing health may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off. A leave of absence for placing a child in foster care or finding an adoptive family is also permissible.
The FMLA applies to companies with 50 or more employees. Educational institutions and public agencies must also comply. An update to the law from 2008 expands coverage to meet the needs of military families.
Accomplishments of FMLA
Countless lives would be worse off if not for FMLA. Due to support from the Department of Labor, the law boasts the following achievements:
- Helping 18,000 individuals deal with unjust terminations
- Assisting 1,000 employees in resolving benefits issues
- Recovering $63 million in back wages
In all, the lives of 463 million citizens are better due to FMLA, a milestone worth celebrating.
It is sometimes impossible to avoid taking significant time away from work. Happily, FMLA protects laborers from unjust termination under extenuating circumstances. Everyone should give thanks for the employment security this law provides.