Bill Clinton Signs his First Law the Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), was passed by the 103rd United States Congress and subsequently signed into law on 5 August 1993 by President Bill Clinton (Pub.L. 103-3; 29 U.S.C. sec.

2601; 29 CFR 825). The bill was among the first signed into law by President Clinton in his first term. The FMLA is a labor law allowing an employee to take job-protected unpaid leave due to a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job, to care for a sick family member, or to care for a new child (including by birth, adoption or foster care). The FMLA is administered by the Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Family and Medical Leave Act was passed by Congress and signed by president Bill Clinton in 1993 after nearly 10 years of lobbying from family and labor groups such as the AFL-CIO. It provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for the serious illness of an employee or an immediate family member, or the birth or adoption of a child. Health insurance must also be continued.

Pierce says the way the current law is written can hurt profits. Complying with the FMLA cost employers $21 billion in 2004, according to an analysis by the Employment Policy Foundation, a public policy research group based in Washington.

FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA) requires employers to provide up to twelve weeks, or 480 hours, of unpaid leave annually to any employee for any serious medical condition of the employee or a member of the employee's immediate family, or for the birth or adoption of a child. The act was first introduced into Congress in 1985. It passed both houses of Congress, but was vetoed by President George Bush in 1991 and 1992 before being signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

The FMLA covers all public employers and private companies with more than fifty employees. A central component of FMLA is the requirement that employers who provide their workers with health insurance must maintain group health coverage for any employee while on leave. However, employers may require workers to prepay premiums or pay while on leave. The FMLA is enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. FMLA rights are in addition to paid sick leaves, but employers may force workers to use vacation or personal leaves after FMLA benefits expire. Employers are forbidden to deny benefits to or discharge those employees using FMLA benefits. Some rights coincide with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, although the latter covers employers with fifteen or more workers and requires companies to provide reasonable conditions for disabled applicants.