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What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

As a worker in Florida, there are certain rights you have when it comes to taking time off of work. While you only get paid time off in certain situations, there are laws in place that will prevent your job standing from being harmed if you have to take extended time off due to medical or family-related reasons.

The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, went into effect in 1993. According to the United States Department of Labor, it allows for up to 12 weeks of protected but unpaid leave every 12 months for several reasons all related to medical or familial situations. This can include:

  • Taking care of an immediate relative with a serious health problem
  • Bonding with a child within a year of their adoption/birth
  • The birth or adoption of a child
  • Serious health issues with the employee
  • Running a household with a spouse away on military leave

The primary goal of this act was to make it so that people like you who both work and have a family to take care of can have more time for the family side of things. In allowing you to take time off on a yearly basis, you can deal with the needs of your family much more easily than if you had to worry about losing your job for extended off time.

Though the FMLA doesn't give you paid leave for the time you're gone, having the continued security of a guaranteed job may be what you need to rest at ease while handling familial or health matters.

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