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Family and medical leave — Pennsylvania

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) first went into effect in August 1993. After 15 years, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) enacted its first set of significant regulatory changes, effective January 16, 2009. Subsequent changes and clarifications to military caregiver and qualifying exigency leaves, effective October 28, 2009, were authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. Further changes were announced in August 2013 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision invalidating a section of federal law that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

The FMLA is a federal statute designed to protect families and employees by allowing employees to take leave from work without losing their jobs and benefits. In general, the FMLA requires covered employers to allow an eligible employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for reasons including:

  • the birth or placement/adoption of the employee’s child
  • a serious health condition affecting the employee or certain family members