Most employers recognize the challenges presented in managing a workforce on a day-to-day basis. Those challenges are compounded for employers employing more than 50 people who are subject to the
provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This Act, in essence, provides eligible employees of covered employers with the absolute right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for their own serious
health condition, for the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition.
The purpose behind the FMLA is clearly laudatory. It addresses the Hobson’s choice formerly facing employees between dealing with their own illness, the illness of a close family member or the birth or adoption of a child, and the need to continue to provide an income stream for their family. In fact, in the introductory comments to the FMLA, Congress points out that the purpose of the FMLA is to “balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families, to promote the stability and economic security of families and to promote national interest in preserving family integrity.”