What is the Family Medical Leave Act?

The Family Medical Leave Act is a federal law in the United States which expects that all 'large' employers to give their employees some job protected unpaid leave following some serious health problems which lenders the employee unable to undertake his or her duties. The law also expects the employer to provide the employees with the leave in case a family member falls ill and the need to take care of them which requires the employee to avail the care. This law is usually administered by the Wage and Hour division from the administration that is concerned with the employment standards of the United States Department of Labor. This bill was one of the major bills which were passed with a high priority during the first term of President Bill Clinton (Barrett, 2001).

How Does the Family Medical Leave Act Work?

Employees who are subject to this clause must be employed in any business which has more than fifty employees who are within the seventy five mile radius of his or her work station has been put in place. This included all the public agencies including the schools, local and federal employees. The employee is also expected to have worked for the employer for more than twelve months. The law allows for an unpaid but job protected leave of up to twelve weeks in any given year.

The leave would give one the chance to care for a newly born child, be it a son or a daughter or even for the adoption of child or for the placement of a child for the foster care. An employee is able to tend to an ill family member such as a spouse, child or parent. The employer is also given some time to recover from any serious illness till they attain stable conditions. Further, the clause allows employees to obtain leave so as to address some legitimate exigencies from the family member's development (Albiston, 2010).

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To the employer, the law requires them to restore the employee back to the position which they held before going out for leave once they resume duty. All the benefits that were entitled to the employee should be reinstated. In cases where the position is no longer available, the employee should be given a position that is almost equivalent to the former position enjoyed together with better or same pay, benefits and responsibilities as previously held. The employer is under the obligation of reinstating all the benefits entitled to the employer upon resuming the job. The law also protects the employee from the act of the employer denying the employer exercise their rights which are stated in the law (Schoenfeld, 2006).

There are some other laws which are concerned with the employees and employers which are found in Oklahoma in addition to the family Medical Leave Act which are only found in this State. In other states, employees who do not work under an employment contract are normally assumed to be at will. However, Oklahoma state law recognizes the at will doctrine, which is meant to mean that either your employer or the employee may decide to terminate the employment relationship at any given time, as far as it is within the confines of the law. Termination may be warranted by various reasons which can be generally classified into either discrimination or unlawful termination which is in violation of the laid down public policies.

About the Oklahoma Law

Unlike permanent and pensionable workers, all terms of employment for employees on contract are defined fully in the contract itself. Any termination of their services should not be in contravention of these rules. Further, the Oklahoma law requires that employers take a comprehensive workers' compensation insurance policy for all their employees. No employee should be exempted from this even if the employer has just one part-time employee. However, in cases where employers who have five or less employees, all of whom happen to be related by either blood or marriage to the employer, they are deemed to be an exception from the workers' compensation laws.

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