Most advisers know the basics of FMLA. The Family and Medical Leave Act is the federal law that requires employers to provide employees with a job-protected, unpaid leave of absence from work for a variety of family reasons, including military leave or their own medical-related needs. FMLA strictly regulates the process that employers must follow to comply with the law.

If it sounds simple, most employers would tell you it's anything but. One human resources helpline in the Midwest reports that FMLA is the topic callers ask about most often, and their questions typically focus on who is covered, how a serious medical condition is defined, and how to control intermittent leave.

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