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Family of cutout people. The last few years have seen a boom in state legislation that is designed to protect employees, and much of the legislation focuses on leaves of absence and continuation of coverage. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) took effect on August 5, 1993 requiring covered employers to provide job-protected leave to covered employees for their own medical reasons or to care for family. FMLA also requires a continuation of health plan coverage for the maximum 12 weeks of leave; however, the Act does not require the leave to be paid. Due to the lack of a federal paid leave law, some states began enacting paid leave laws as early as 2004.

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