The purpose of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is to allow employees to balance the needs of their family against their work obligations. Generally, the law ensures that all workers are able to take reasonable extended leaves of absence from work to handle family issues or illness without fear of being terminated from their jobs or forced into a lesser job upon their return from leave. This program is part of the "HR Law for Managers" series. This series provides a comprehensive resource that will orient managers to components of key employment laws; provide details, relevant to managers, for each of these laws; and explain, in practical terms, how to apply the laws in context with specific situations as relate to a manager’s duties. You are encouraged to take advantage of the detailed fact sheet that supports each program in the "HR Law for Managers" series.