The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was intended to balance the needs of the workplace with the needs of the family. It allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a qualifying reason during any 12 month period. To be eligible an employee must have been at the business at least 12 months (they do not have to be 12 consecutive months) and worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months. For an employer to have to abide by FMLA they have to employ 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius. FMLA covers both public and private sector employees.