Taking Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives employees the right to take time off work for certain health issues and caregiving obligations. As originally passed in 1993, the law gave employees the right to take time off to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or recover from their own serious health condition. In 2008, the law was expanded to also provide military family leave: Employees may now take FMLA leave to deal with certain practical matters arising from a family member's deployment or to care for a family member who is seriously injured while serving in the military.

The articles in this section explain employee rights and obligations under this important federal law. They also provide information on state family and medical leave laws, some of which are more generous than the federal FMLA regulations.

For even more information, see Nolo's book The Essential Guide to Family & Medical Leave.

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