Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Family and Medical Leave Act
Donald L. Zink
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is intended to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families, became effective for most employers in August 1993. The passage of the FMLA represented a legislative reaction to dramatic changes in the U.S. workforce that had taken place over the previous 40 years. During that period, the number of female workers in the civilian labor force increased by more than 200%. In addition, the American population is aging, leading some analysts to predict that an increasing percentage of workers will have some caregiving responsibility for an older family member. The number of single-parent households has also increased substantially as a result of increases in the number of unwed mothers and higher rates of separation and divorce. At the time of its passage, between 40% and 50% of the nation's workforce was estimated to be covered by the FMLA. ...