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The Family and Medical Leave Act

February 1, 1993

On February 5, 1993, President Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. In explaining the intent of this legislation, the President stated, "American workers will no longer have to choose between the job they need and the family they love." In general, the Act requires employers to provide to each employee up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave per year for the care of a newborn or newly-adopted child, a seriously ill family member, or the employee's own serious illness. The following questions and answers are intended to illustrate the basic features of this new legislation.