A little more than two weeks after his first inauguration, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 was the first major legislation signed into law by President Bill Clinton. In his remarks at the signing in the video above, Clinton said:
“Family and medical leave is a matter of pure common sense and a matter of common decency. It will provide Americans what they need most: peace of mind. Never again will parents have to fear losing their jobs because of their families.”
For nearly two decades now, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) has been administering the FMLA and allowing eligible employees to take paid or unpaid job-protected leave for qualified medical or familial reasons. Before the FMLA became federal law, California had already introduced the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), but that bill was amended to make the statute more closely resemble the FMLA. In 2002, California also enacted its Paid Family Leave (PFL) insurance program that extended unemployment disability compensation to cover individuals taking time off work for the same reasons as the FMLA and CFRA, but who also participated in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program.
As Clinton said when originally signing the FMLA, allowing employees to take time off to care for their families is a matter of common sense and common decency—but exactly what these laws cover can also be a matter of common confusion. Over the course of this week, we will examine some of the issues surrounding this area of employment law to help balance commitments to your job with commitments to your family.
Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacbo – Los Angeles employment attorneys