Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

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The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
How It Can Help The HIV Positive Person

What is the Family Medical Leave Act?
The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) applies to private sector employers that have 50 or more employees living within 75 miles of the work site. Eligible employees may take leave for serious health conditions or to provide care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, including HIV/AIDS. Eligible employees are entitled to a total of 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-month period.

What Protections Does FLMA Offer
An FMLA leave, allows an eligible employee to continue group health plan coverage just as if he or she was working. Upon return from leave, the law requires that employees be restored to the same or an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and working conditions.

Diagnosis Disclosure May Be Required
In order for individuals with HIV or AIDS to invoke FMLA protection, the disclosure of medical information to the employer may be required. Employers are not required to provide unpaid medical leave under FMLA if they are not informed that a disability or serious health condition exists. If an employee makes an employer aware of his or her AIDS or HIV infection, laws such as the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) require that information to be held in strict confidence.

How To Tell Someone You Have HIV
What is the Americans With Disabilities Act

Sources: Centers for Disease Control; "Business Responds to HIV/AIDS"; 2006.

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