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Most employees are eligible for parental and family leave

Good business relies on our best efforts as workers, but there is more to life than work. Managers and employees alike value their personal lives and personal time, and it should never be necessary to sacrifice a career to be the best spouse, parent or family member possible.

Employee leave is an important response to planned life events, such as marriage and pregnancy, and unplanned life events, like a sudden injury or a death in the family. This allows workers to take care of their families while keeping their jobs and careers safe.

California was the first U.S. state to offer paid family leave in 2004 when it created a temporary disability insurance program. The result is six weeks of leave for new parents, who may receive part of their regular salary. This may be supplemented by unpaid leave and other options as well.

All workers in the United States are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which gives most workers the right to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. They may return to their regular work after this period, although pay or partial pay is not guaranteed by this law.

Some private employers offer paid leave for new parents and others addressing family needs, but fewer than 15% of American workers can take advantage of these programs.

If you are eligible for any of these programs and coverage has been denied, you have the right to sue for your rights or compensation for their violation. The right attorney can help assemble these lawsuits and push these issues forward in civil court.

Source: CNN Money, "Calls for paid family leave are getting louder," Kathryn Vasel, Feb. 13, 2018

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