29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.; 29 CFR 825

Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), most employers with 50 or more employees must grant an eligible worker up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of the worker;
  • for placement with the worker of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • to take medical leave when the worker is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Workers and other persons may file complaints with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. The Department of Labor may file suit to ensure compliance and recover damages if a complaint cannot be resolved administratively.

Workers also have private rights of action, without involvement of the Department of Labor, to correct violations and recover damages through the courts. 

For more information, call the Wage and Hour Division at 866-4USWAGE (866-487-9243), or visit the FMLA website.