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Swine Flu And The Family Leave And Medical Act

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 5/14/2009

How employees and small businesses are protecting themselves.

The swine flu outbreak did not present the best news for small businesses, particularly those with employees who travel frequently.

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The Family Leave and Medical Act (FMLA) protects workers who may have the beginnings of an illness, yet are worried about their job security, as the act states that certain employees are provided with 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year.

With cases of swine flu expanding, more small businesses are looking to this Act for guidance and also reinforcing their sick leave poicies.

The FMLA applies to employees who have "to take medical leave when [he or she] is unable to work because of a serious medical condition" and considering the World Health Organization's warnings of swine flu, the disease falls into this category.

A recent article in The Modesto Bee outlined some userful news for small businesses on how their peers are handling the swine flu situation.

For example, Alecia Latimer an HR manager at AlphaStaff explained to the paper that she deemed it appropriate to "ask people to go home if you think there's a reasonable suspicion that they have the flu."

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