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November 2013Vol. 14, No. 8Family Medical Leave Laws and Adoption

The Federal Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-3) requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer both mothers and fathers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child. The law ensures that employees can return to their current jobs or an equivalent position, and it requires employers to continue the employee's health benefits during the leave period. Most States have laws and regulations that provide leave for employees who adopt a child. Like the Federal law, the leave is usually unpaid, but in some cases the leave can be paid, especially if the employee can utilize accrued annual and sick leave balances. In addition, the laws usually require that employers offer their employees the same or equivalent position of employment once the period of leave has ended.

A new publication, Family/Parental/Adoption Leave Laws, presents the full text of the relevant State laws. The document notes that in several States, the provisions apply only to State employees. In those States, and in the few States that have not enacted their own laws, private employers are subject to the provisions of the Federal Family Medical Leave Act.

The publication was produced by the Society for Human Resource Management and is available on its website: (718 KB)