FMLA Grants Eligible Employees Leave to Care for Family Members

Based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Dawda Mann is a law firm that serves businesses and business owners. To help companies stay compliant with federal and state employment law, Dawda Mann’s attorneys maintain up-to-date knowledge in this critical area of business law.

One key law that affects many businesses is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which grants eligible employees the right to take unpaid leave while maintaining health care coverage. Under FMLA, eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or adopted child or to care for a family member with a serious health condition. If the employee needs to care for a service member with a serious injury or illness, he or she can receive 26 weeks of leave. In addition, employees can use FMLA leave during their own serious illnesses.

An important change to these provisions occurred in 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional. As a result of this ruling, the Department of Labor revised the FMLA definition of spouse so that employees in same-sex marriages can take FMLA leave when their spouses require care.

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