The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a labor law requiring employers with 50 or more workers to provide 12 weeks of unpaid time off for family issues. The law guarantees that qualified employees may take up to 12 weeks off for family reasons such as pregnancy/childbirth, adoption, personal illness, and severe family illness (Department of Labor, n.d.). Military families receive up to 26 weeks of time off to care for injured or seriously ill relatives, providing family support for wounded soldiers. The law also includes job protection for when the employee returns. The employee has the right to return to work either in the same position or one that is equal to the original position with the same benefits, pay, seniority, and any other terms and conditions of employment (Martocchio, 2017). To qualify for FMLA leave, the employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the previous 12 months. The employee must also work for a state or federal agency or a private-sector employer that employs 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the employee’s location. Even if an employee doesn’t meet the FMLA requirements, they may still be eligible for leave in certain situations — but not under the FMLA. For example, individual state or local governments may have created laws and ordinances covering family and medical leave.
FMLA removes the need for workers to choose between work and family, allowing them to balance employment security with family responsibilities. It recognizes that most families are two-income and that fathers need to take on more childcare responsibilities by providing fathers the opportunity to take paternity leave (Martocchio, 2017). The act also recognizes that families go beyond the traditional definition and includes same-sex marriages recognizing the spouse. FMLA promotes equal employment opportunities for all employees. Companies have found that FMLA helps improve absences, productivity, and morale and reduces employee stress, limiting expensive errors. On the flip side, organizations claim that the most difficult FMLA-related activities are tracking/administering intermittent FMLA leave, determining the overall costs incurred while complying with the requirements of the FMLA, and determining whether the FMLA should protect a severe intermittent health condition.
The Affordable Health Care Act ACA intends to reform how insurance and health systems work to improve health care access, quality, and individual and public costs. The ACA was designed to eliminate all discrimination against pre-existing medical issues such as pregnancy (which Trump repealed), extend parental coverage for children until they are 26, provide tax credits for small businesses so they can afford health insurance for workers, and to help provide health insurance for low-income families who are typically paying out of pocket for medical services. (Nordquist, 2016). The Affordable Care Act also creates incentives to promote employer wellness programs and other activities that support healthier workplaces.
According to Nosta (2014), incentives benefit the associate and the organization. Incentives allow employees to earn rewards for behaviors such as yearly physical examinations that improve health and reduce medical costs through healthier people. In this case, organizations do not pay the incentive until the behavior has been done. The incentive also encourages employees to have better connections to health devices such as Fitbits that encourage more movement, walking, some form of exercise, and eating better. The reward also helps steer employees to cheaper medical procedures such as x-rays saving money. These incentives encourage healthier associates, which reduces absenteeism, increases morale, and increases loyalty to the company because they illustrate they care. Some companies get discounts on premiums when employees use incentives and increase employee productivity.
Just as a side note: The Build Back Better bill (BBB), in its initial incarnation, introduced a provision that sought to establish a Universal Paid Family and Medical Leave (UPFML) program, beginning July 2023, by amending the Social Security Act (42 USC 301 et seq.) to include investments in 4 weeks of paid FMLA benefits for all workers during a benefit period of 12 months. Some senators have argued that it should cover comprehensive reasons for leave, including caring for a new child and for a worker’s serious health condition or that of a family member — and possibly other reasons, such as natural disasters or public health emergencies. It should be generous enough that low- and middle-income workers can meet their families’ needs while on leave. Most or all workers should be eligible to share benefits and costs. The program should also include robust outreach and a straightforward application process (Shabo, 2021). This has not passed the Senate, unfortunately.
Nordquist, C. (2016, September 5). The Affordable Care Act: Healthcare reform in the U.S. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/247287.php
Nosta, J. (2014, April 9). Be healthy and get rewarded–incentives driving engagement in health and wellness. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnnosta/2014/04/09/be-healthy-and-get-rewarded-incentives-driving-engagement-in-health-and-wellness/
Shabo, V. (2021, June 22). Several outcomes of implementing a universal paid leave policy in the United States. New America. https://www.newamerica.org/the-thread/seven-outcomes-of-implementing-a-universal-paid-leave-policy-in-the-united-states/ (Links to an external site.)
U.S. Department of Labor. (n.d.). Family Medical Leave Act 1993. https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/benefits-leave/fmla
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as described by Bailey (2017) “recognizes an employee’s right to take leave to care for a qualifying family member.” (p. 1) But what would one consider a qualifying family member and is this something that varies between organizations? This standard regulation has been under several additional alterations to its justification on family members and definitions in “spouse” as well as lengths of established care and yet it is implemented in the understanding that the need for care for family members is adapting as the workforce too changes its inclusion of dual working families and military families to name a few. Some areas entitled to the FMLA are chronically ill individuals, children, elderly family members, and even adopted children (Martocchio, 2017) although other distinct designations exist and organizational mandates must be met to utilize this benefit, it remains a key mandate that too ensures a worker is reserved their position in embracing.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires those covered employers to offer health insurance or run the risk of a monetary penalization fee (What you need to know, n.d.). When full-time qualifying employees meet the designations of a 30hr work week, they may be included in the (ACA). This reform law made healthcare available to more people and excluded distinctions amongst those individuals that had a preexisting conditions. These avenues aim to open up healthcare reform to provide a viable/quality healthcare program through organizations and to their employees.
The prominent elements of these two acts are that they “provide protection programs to employees and their dependents.” (Martocchio, 2017 Sec 10.2) In ensuring the health and welfare of individuals and their family members, these two acts provide the security one would look for when seeking occupation within an organization. This not only aids the individual but also assists the organization as they are ensuring that their most prized asset (people) is well taken care of.
They can impact the employee and the organization insomuch as they provide a direct avenue that enables individuals to ensure the health and wellbeing of their family is secure without having to worry about their position and encroaching on their leave, vacation, or PTO benefits. The employee gains the time necessary to be a caregiver while the organization benefits in providing highly skilled candidates retention in their occupation and attraction to those seeking opportunities within the company. This work-life balance allows organizations to embrace stability at home and production at work.
Bailey, K. S. (2017). The Fmla and Psychological Support: Courts Care about “Care” (And Employers Should, Too). Michigan Law Review, 115(7), 1213–1237.
Martocchio, J.J. (2017). Strategic compensation: A human resource management approach (9th ed.). Pearson.
What You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act: Offering Health Care Insurance to Employees. (n.d.). SHRM – The Voice of All Things Work. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/need-to-know/pages/what-you-need-to-know-about-affordable-care-act
"Place your order now for a similar assignment and have exceptional work written by our team of experts, guaranteeing you A results."