The Family and Medical Leave Act was the only law that was enacted to help people meet the demands of work and family. This topic is important because it was enacted after a nine-year campaign by the women’s legal defense fund. In addition, the Act has helped both men and women get time to care for their loved ones and their health problems. Though the act was aimed at helping workers, there have been serious gaps in the law. Therefore, the justification of the research is to present a persuasive discussion, which will assess the importance of the ACT and examine if there is a need to change the law.
Importance of the Family and Medical Leave Act
The family and medical leave Act is critical in various ways. Firstly, it helps employees with serious health conditions and assists them in caring for new babies, spouses, and the wounded next of kin; as such, it brings a balance between family and work (Bovee, 2001). Secondly, the Act has helped to eliminate gender-based barriers to women because they are treated equally on family obligations. Thirdly, it is a great way to accommodate the legitimate reasons for leave for employers and employees. Fourthly, it helps to provide a legal framework and structure which employees are freed from fear of losing their jobs because of short-term events. Lastly, it helps both employers and employees to cooperate in scheduling around the events affecting their lives.
Demerits of the Family and Medical Leave Act
On the other hand, the Act has been a disservice because of the following issues. Firstly, many employees abuse the bill for selfish reasons, as some apply for leave to attend parties on the pretext that they are sick (Darby & Fuhr, 2007). Secondly, most people in the United States work on a part time basis and, as such, cannot benefit from the bill, as it requires people to work 1250 hours in a year to enjoy its benefits. Thirdly, individuals working in a small business cannot benefit from the Act. Fourthly, it does not cater to other members of the family except the person directly involved. Furthermore, same-sex partners are not legible; hence, they cannot benefit. In fact, it has also promoted absenteeism, thus reducing the quality of work. Lastly, it has also made some workers to be overworked while others have gone on leave and, as such, brought about disunity and inequality in the workplace.
In the light of the above demerits, it is evident that the Act should be changed. If it cannot serve all the people and the fact that it negatively affects the employer and other employees, then it is not morally right to have an Act that favors a small population.
From the above analysis, it is evident that the Act is not important since it is selective in serving the people. Although it was created to ensure that the employees can balance time for work and family, the same workers have misused its original context making the Act irrelevant. In each workplace, workers are entitled to get sick, compassionate, and annual leave for as long as possible. Therefore, the family and medical leave Act becomes irrelevant under those premises. Therefore, the concerned parties should either make changes to the law or do away with the Act.
Bovee, S. C. (2001). Family Medical Act. State Sovereignty and the Narrowing of the Fourteenth Protection, 7(3), 3rd ser.
Darby, L. F., & Fuhr, J. P. (2007). Economic welfare consequences of FMLA. Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.