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Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

A family member may be able to take time off from work under the Family Medical Leave Act, and you and your family may be able to use Family Medical Leave Act benefits to protect your job while you are recovering. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. Not all companies are required by law to offer these benefits. (1)

To be eligible for FMLA, an employee must

  • Work for a covered employer,

  • Have worked for a total of 12 months, and

  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the last 12 months.

FMLA benefits can be used to

  • Care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition,

  • Take medical leave when the employee can’t work due to a serious health condition, or

  • Take blocks of time or work fewer hours daily or weekly.

Under the FMLA, the employer must

  • Inform employees of their rights and responsibilities under the FMLA,

  • Continue insurance coverage while employees are on leave, and

  • In most cases, return the employee to the same job or a job with equal pay and benefits.


  • May have to pay insurance premiums while on leave or

  • May have to pay insurance premiums for the time off if they did not return to work after the FMLA time off.

You can get additional information about the Family Medical Leave Act by visiting this site.


  1.  Health Resources and Services Administration. Partnering With Your Transplant Team. Rockville, MD: Healthcare Systems Bureau; 2008.

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