Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

Also known as: FMLA

Bill Clinton

Signed into law by Bill Clinton
February 05, 1993

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permits an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for pregnancy complications, maternity or paternity leave, care of the employee’s own serious health condition, or care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition. A serious health condition entitling an employee to FMLA leave is any illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider. An employee is covered under the FMLA if (s)he has worked for the employer for at least twelve months, has worked at least 1,250 hours over the prior twelve months, and works at a location with at least fifty employees who are employed within seventy-five miles of that location.

Enforcement & Remedies

Unlike Title VII and many other anti-discrimination statutes, plaintiffs pursuing causes of action under the FMLA have the option of filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC or proceeding directly to federal district court. For employees who prevail on their claims, the “liquidated damages” provision of the FMLA provides that any award entered by a jury shall be doubled.