The Family and Medical Leave Act Handbook

An overview and resource handbook about the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA) for employers and
their HR professionals

Using this handbook

Unum: Your benefits partner

As the leading provider of disability insurance,1 we understand the connection between effective leave management and your bottom line. It’s key to controlling the cost of absence and increasing productivity. Yet for many employers, the complexities of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can make this a difficult task.

That’s why we created this helpful reference tool. It’s part of our commitment to help you get the most from your benefits programs, so we can help you build a stronger workforce and, ultimately, a stronger business.

Using this handbook

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 improved employees’ ability to care for themselves or family members during serious illnesses, or at times of birth, adoption or foster care placement. In 2008, the FMLA was expanded to provide leave for family members of military service members.

This handbook will help employers and their HR professionals understand and comply with FMLA leave requirements. While it’s not a definitive resource, it will help identify compliance issues, explain how leaves interact with other benefits and point you to resources for more information. Additionally, you will want to seek the advice of your own professional advisors — such as your company’s benefits or human resource attorney — who can provide assistance with the specific questions you have regarding the development and application of your company’s leave policies and procedures. This is especially true since this handbook is designed to give you a baseline understanding of the FMLA without focusing on each exception or special rule. For example, regulations specific to school employees and flight crew members are not included.

1. Gen Re, 2011 U.S. Group Disability Market Survey (2012), based on inforce cases, and LIMRA, Individual Disability Income Sales and In-Force Survey Annual Review (2011), based on multilife inforce policies.