Women and Gender Studies Program

The 20th Anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act

On August 22 the USM Women and Gender Studies Program partnered with the Maine Women's Lobby to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act.
This round table discussion celebrated FMLA's role in the lives of Maine people for the past two decades and focused on the challenges facing working families and the policies that allow individuals to meet their responsibilities at home and at work. The FMLA applies to any employer in the private sector who engages in commerce, or in any industry or activity affecting commerce, and who has 50 or more employees each working day during at least 20 calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.

The FMLA entitles eligible employees to:

  • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
    • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
    • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
    • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
    • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
    • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

More information can be found on the Department of Labor's website.