Family and Medical Leave Act Definition

The FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) is a U.S. federal law that requires employers to grant employees time off for specific family and medical reasons. Up to 12 weeks of leave can be granted in a 12-month period.

FMLA Extended Definition
The FMLA directs employers to grant up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave (in a 12-month period) to employees for established family and health reasons.

The reasons include:

  • Caring for a new child (by birth, foster care, adoption)
  • Tending to family members with serious health conditions
  • Serious health issues that prevent the employee from performing his/her work duties
  • Emergencies that occur as a result of the employee’s family member being notified of or serving “covered active duty” in the U.S. Armed Forces

Employees who must tend to a “covered service member” with a serious injury or illness are also entitled to up to 26 weeks of leave in a 12-month period. The service member should be the employee’s daughter, son, parent, spouse, or next of kin.

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Last Updated By

Rachel Blakely-Gray | Apr 14, 2023

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