Some employers must provide unpaid leave for family- and medical-related reasons under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Paid leave is not required by federal law; however, it is required by some state and local laws.Have you or someone you know ever experienced a situation where there was a need for unpaid family leave? (If not, imagine you are now in that situation in your current workplace.) Did you agree with the policy that was in place at the time? Why, or why not? As you describe and reflect on the situation, your reaction, and rationale, consider the impact of unpaid family leave laws on the employer. Does it alter your perspective?
I have not personally experienced a situation where there was a need for unpaid family leave, but I have heard stories from friends and colleagues who have been in this situation. In one case, a friend had to take unpaid leave to care for her sick child. She was a single mother and could not afford to take unpaid leave, but she also felt that she could not abandon her child when he was sick. She ended up having to borrow money from her parents to cover her expenses during her leave.
In another case, a colleague had to take unpaid leave to care for his elderly parents. He was the only child and they did not have any other family to help them. He felt that he had a moral obligation to care for his parents, but he also knew that taking unpaid leave would put his job at risk. He ended up taking the leave and was eventually laid off when he returned to work.
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