This week marked a very important milestone in federal employment law. Twenty years ago Tuesday the Family and Medical Leave Act became law. Many people in Maryland are most familiar with the FMLA as the law that grants working mothers maternity leave; however the FMLA actually affords various leave rights to workers.
Many companies hire out for independent contractors in order to supplement their workforce and assume that all legal obligations and benefits are dealt with through and by the staffing company which provides them. What they don't realize is that when it comes to certain benefits, the relational status between the staffing company, employer, and independent contractor can sometimes blur the lines that define who is on the hook and to what extent.
Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, new parents are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave following the birth of a child. However, companies with less than 50 employees are not required to offer maternity or paternity leave, and no companies are required to pay employees for these leaves of absence.