Definition: The 1993 law that entitles a covered employee to take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for the birth or adoption of a child or the serious health condition of the employee or the employee's child, spouse or parent .
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to give workers up to 12 weeks off to attend to the birth or adoption of a baby, or the serious health condition of the employee or an immediate family member.
After 12 weeks of unpaid leave, you must reinstate the employee in the same job or an equivalent one. The 12 weeks of leave does not have to be taken all at once; in some cases, employees can take it a day at a time.
In most states, only employers with 50 or more employees are subject to the FMLA. However, some states have family leave laws that place family leave requirements on businesses with as few as five employees. To find out your state's requirements, contact your state labor department.