It is often difficult for working people to successfully balance the demands of a job with personal and family needs. In response to this much-discussed problem, Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA requires certain employers to allow their employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave per year to care for an ill family member, to recuperate from their own illness, or to take care of a newborn or newly adopted child. As amended in 2008, the law also provides time off for employees who need leave to assist or care for family members who are in the military.
Employees have the right to take parenting leave (also called “bonding” leave) under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Male and female employees alike are eligible for this type of leave. Leave is available to new parents of a biological child, adopted child, or foster child. Who Counts
In 2008, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was amended to allow time off for employees with family members in the military. These employees may use their regular FMLA leave to handle certain issues arising from a family member's call to active duty. The amendments also create a one-time, 26-week leave entitlement for employees who need time off to care for a family member who was seriously injured in the line of duty.
The FMLA is not the only law that protects employees who need time off for caretaking responsibilities or for a serious health condition. Many states also have laws that allow employees to take time off for family and medical reasons. Some of these laws overlap with the FMLA; others don't. If more than one employment law applies, you must give the employee the benefit of whichever law is more generous or provides greater rights.