Family Medical Leave Act
Since the FMLA is a purely U.S. employment guideline, employees in other countries should familiarize themselves with the corresponding legislation (or lack thereof) to determine whether they have more, the same or fewer family leave and other leave rights.
Under the FMLA, there are three kinds of leave: continuous leave (when the employee is absent for more than three consecutive business days); intermittent leave (when the employee takes time off in separate blocks, whether it is hourly, daily or weekly) and reduced-schedule leave (when the employee has to reduce the amount of working hours to take care of an ailing family member).
On the other hand, there are several conditions to meet before the FMLA is applicable. Firstly, the employee has to work at the organization for more than 12 months, as well as at least 1,250 hours in the previous year. Secondly, smaller employers are not required to provide FMLA leave to their employees. (For example, if a company employs fewer than 50 people within 75 miles of the employee's worksite, the FMLA is not applicable. This restriction was enacted because small firms often find it more difficult to send a replacement far away if a needed employee were to take leave.)
According to FMLA guidelines, the employees must return to their former positions after the end of the leave, assuming that they are able to perform the essential functions of that position. If not, an alternative position with the same benefits, remuneration and work hours must be provided to the disabled employee.
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