The Family and Madical Leave Act

T he Family and Medical Leave Act The Family and Medical Leave Act was established in 1993. The act is designed to provide up to twelve weeks a year of unpaid leave for employees other than key employees for certain reasons, such as a serious medical condition experienced by the employee or a family member and the birth or adoption of a child. I believe that expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act is not only unnecessary, but it could hurt our economy. When the act was implemented in 1993, many firms had to adjust their policies. Most of these adjustments were due to maternity and paternity leave. Statistics show that in 1996 that 78% of women and 54% of men used their available full twelve weeks of leave under the act.(Waldofogel, 1999) That is a large percentage of the workforce that was out for up to twelve weeks. According to statistics many firms allow up to six months for maternity or paternity leave, although not common, this could cause a serious problem.(Hoyle, 1995) If the federal government were to extend their mandatory coverage where will it end, ten month, one year and before long we will all be on leave. The twelve weeks of leave established by the government is a reasonable time period and if firms want to extend their policies to benefit their employees they are allowed to do so. By keeping the act at a set twelve weeks the employer has an opportunity to have some regulation on how long the employee may miss work after that time frame. The act should remain unpaid to help encourage workers to return to work. By making the twelve weeks a paid time period could cause several problems. This would allow an employee to get paid for three months of no productivity. That can cause a considerable amount of loss for a company. Take an employee for instance that is bringing home about $1000 per week. This employee would cost the company $12,000, assuming the…

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