Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 110 Part 6.djvu/477

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CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS—APR. 16, 1996 110 STAT. 4299 (c) An employee generally has a right to return to the same position or an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits and working conditions at the conclusion of the leave. The taking of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any benefit that accrued prior to the start of the leave. (d) The employing office has a right to 30 days advance notice from the employee where practicable. In addition, the employing office may require an employee to submit certification from a health care provider to substantiate that the leave is due to the serious health condition of the employee or the employee's immediate family member. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a delay in the start of FMLA leave. Pursuant to a uniformly applied policy, the employing office may also require that an employee present a certification of fitness to return to work when the absence was caused by the employee's serious health condition (see § 825.311(c)). The employing office may delay restoring the employee to employment without such certificate relating to the health condition which caused the employee's absence. §825.101 What is the purpose of the FMLA? (a) FMLA is intended to allow employees to balance their work and family life by taking reasonable unpaid leave for medical reasons, for the birth or adoption of a child, and for the care of a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition. The FMLA is intended to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families, to promote the stability and economic security of families, and to promote national interests in preserving family integrity. It was intended that the FMLA accomplish these purposes in a manner that accommodates the legitimate interests of employers, and in a manner consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in minimizing the potential for emplo5ment discrimination on the basis of sex, while promoting equal employment opportunity for men and women. (b) The enactment of FMLA was predicated on two fundamental concerns, "the needs of the American workforce, and the development of high-performance organizations". Increasingly, America's children and elderly are dependent upon family members who must spend long hours at work. When a family emergency arises, requiring workers to attend to seriously-ill children or parents, or to newly-born or adopted infants, or even to their own serious illness, workers need reassurance that they will not be asked to choose between continuing their employment, and meeting their personal and family obligations or tending to vital needs at home. (c) The FMLA is both intended and expected to benefit employ- ers as well as their employees. A direct correlation exists between stability in the family and productivity in the workplace. FMLA will encourage the development of high-performance organizations. When workers can count on durable links to their workplace they are able to make their own full commitments to their jobs. The record of hearings on family and medical leave indicate the powerful productive advantages of stable workplace relationships, and the comparatively small costs of guaranteeing that those relationships will not be dissolved while workers attend to pressing family health obligations or their own serious illness.