Family Medical Leave Act

The U.S.  Department of Labor’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can be hard to understand, especially for caregivers of people with disabilities.

A new web page with a variety of resources launched by the department hopefully will help. The guide was produced as part of the 30th anniversary of the passage of the act. It includes:

  • Updated fact sheets on using FMLA leave when your family member has a serious health condition or you must care for an adult child with a disability.
  • FAQs on taking FMLA leave and other resources for family caregivers to navigate their responsibilities.

FMLA 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. It applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees.

Bottom Line:

  • FMLA is available if a child under 18 years of age has a serious health condition.
  • Employees may use FMLA leave to care for an adult child with a serious health condition who is incapable of self-care at the time the FMLA leave will start because of a mental or physical disability. Incapable of self-care means the adult child requires active assistance or supervision with three or more “activities of daily living” or “instrumental activities of daily living” due to a disability.

Photo: U.S. Department of Labor/Wikimedia Commons

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