Browse our HR content and webinar libraries, read the latest blog articles, or check out our HR Software Calculator.
Get new and unique perspectives on HR tech, best practices, and current events every week.
A new podcast from BambooHR about putting your people first.
Browse our library of ebooks, infographics, how-to guides, and unique research.
Stream HR insights right to your screen. Watch one of our 100+ partner webinars absolutely free.
We wrote the book on everything HR.
From Applicant Tracking System to Work/Life Balance, we can help you become a walking HR encyclopedia.
Want to know how much your organization could save with the right HRIS? Start here.
From hiring and onboarding remotely to supporting employee mental health, find relevant HR resources for helping your business recover from a crisis.
Learn about all of the exciting changes that are happening to our platform.
Learn about the company, find press and media details, or apply to work with us!
Who we are, where we came from, and why we make HR software.
This is where you’ll find the latest news and resources from BambooHR.
Are you awesome? Come work with us!
Join us at all the virtual and non-virtual events we're throwing or attending.
Join one of our partner programs.
Get in touch with BambooHR.
Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms
Also known as FMLA, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 is a law requiring businesses to give employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every year for health and family reasons.
There are a variety of reasons an employee is able to take unpaid leave under this act, including the birth of a child, care of a family member with a serious health condition, or care of a military service member in the family who has a serious health condition.
Though this type of leave is not paid, health care benefits must continue and the job is protected.
The Family and Medical Leave Act was instituted on February 5, 1993.
The bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on this day, and the law took effect starting August 5, 1993. Various amendments were added to the law in 2008, 2010, and 2015 to clarify the definition of family members covered by the act.
According to the 50/75 rule, only companies with 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the company’s main work site must offer FMLA coverage to employees.
If an employee is not eligible for FMLA but misses work, their employer may legally terminate them from their position. Employees are only eligible for FMLA if they:
Work for an FMLA-covered employer
Wave worked for their employer for at least 12 months (does not have to be consecutive)
Have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer before taking the leave
Under federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 only applies to immediate family, including parents, spouses, and children.
In 2008, amendments expanded FMLA coverage to next of kin and adult children. These rights are applicable to those in a same-sex marriage or common-law marriage.
Some states have expanded their definition of the immediate family to include grandparents, civil union partners, parents-in-law, and more.
FMLA allows an employee to leave their job for up to 12 weeks.
The leave can be taken in one 12-week period all at once, or be taken as intermittent leave, under special circumstances.
Intermittent leave is allowed in a reduced amount with the birth of a child, or if an employee needs to leave for regular treatment or therapy during work hours.
An employee can be laid off while on FMLA leave.
Under the law, FMLA gives an employee the right to return to their job after taking leave. But the job is not protected if the employee were to have been fired before or after leave anyway.
Because this can be a sticky situation, an employer should be careful to provide sound evidence that the layoff would have happened whether or not the employee took FMLA leave.
An employer can never fire someone for taking FMLA leave, but their job may be terminated after they take the leave, in certain situations. Employers need to be aware of FMLA interference and retaliation claims.
If the termination was in the works well before the employee took leave, it may be safe to proceed. Here are some circumstances where it’s safe to fire an employee after FMLA leave:
The employee did not comply with orders from supervisors
The employee had performance issues before taking leave
The employee was frequently late or absent from work
There is sound evidence that the termination was decided before the employee took FMLA leave
Companies with engaged workforces vastly outperform those without. What prevents us from engaging employees, and are there prhitical solutions to improve engagement?Watch Now
The most successful individuals, teams, and organizations set clear goals to reach success. Goals help us achieve more, faster, with less. In the end, the benefits of goal setting lead to one outcome: better employee performance.Download Now