Skip to Content


Home > Section 3 > Legal Protection from Job Discrimination > The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

< Previous | Next >

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

At some point, your health may change, and require you to take time off from work. The FMLA requires federal agencies and private businesses with more than fifty employees to provide workers with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12 month period for family and medical reasons.

Covered reasons for leave include:
  • A serious health condition that prevents performance of essential job functions
  • Needing to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition
  • The birth of a child and care of a newborn
  • Adopting or bringing a child from foster care

When you request a leave, your employer has the right to ask for documentation of your condition from a health-care provider. If your employer does not know you have HIV or AIDS, your health-care provider may not need to disclose it to them; check to see how much your employer must know about your medical condition. While you are on leave, you will not receive a paycheck, but your employer must continue your health-care benefits.

When you return to work, your employer is required to reinstate you to the original or an equivalent job with the same pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. If you are no longer able to perform an essential function of the job, reinstatement is not required unless a reasonable accommodation would enable you to do the job.

Further resources:

Disability-Related Laws and Regulations
www.doleta.gov/disability/rlar.cfm
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
www.eeoc.gov/
Phone: (800) 669 4000 or (800) 669 6820 (TTY)

U.S. Department of Justice
www.justice.gov/

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
www.ada.gov/workta.htm

ADA Information Line, at the U.S. Dept of Justice
Phone: (800) 514 0301 or (800) 514 0383 (TTY)

Job Accommodation Network
Phone: (800) 526 7234 (voice/TTY)

Department of Labor—Home Page
www.dol.gov/

Department of Labor—Disabilities
www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/index.htm

Hospicenet
www.hospicenet.org/html/medical_leave.html

< Previous | Next >