Family Medical Leave Act and the Economy

FMLA could be a very important provision to have at workplaces in that it aims to promote positive welfare among employees but at the same time, its effects can be damaging on the economy and the performance of organizations hence some changes are being considered. However, the main question is. “Are these changes to the FMLA of any benefit or could even damage the economy further?”Before attempting to look at the effects, it is imperative to fully understand what FMLA is and the conditions required for one to be eligible to apply for this extraordinary privilege as a point of departure. It must always be borne in mind that not all employees are eligible to take advantage of FMLA. One major condition that is mostly considered is that one must work for his or her employer for at least 12 months and in those 12 months, he should have worked for at least 1 250 hours. The employee must be working in an organization with at least 50 or more employees within approximately 75 miles radius, in order to be considered for the benefit of FMLA. It should also be noted that FMLA can not be taken together with maternity leave since it is already included in the employer’s maternity leave. It may only be taken for “serious health conditions” as outlined by LawGuru Knowledge Base [online 2008]. Employees are not entitled to be paid for the time they are off on FMLA. The employer is not allowed to terminate an employee’s contract while away on FMLA. Upon return of the employee, the same position must be available or if that position is no longer available, the employer must provide an alternative position that is equivalent to the previous one with similar comparable benefits.The Family Medical Leave Act creates an advantage for employees in that nowadays both parents go to work and the FMLA allows them to be home with their family when it really counts especially in situations that are life-threatening.