Friday, February 24, 2023
Celebrating 30 Years of the Family and Medical Leave Act
February marks the 30th anniversary of the job-protected Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). On February 5, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law. At its conception, Flight Crews were not eligible because our work hours did not fall under the definition of “hours worked” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), making us unable to satisfy the 1,250-hour requirement.
Our airline Unions and civic leaders worked for years to change this with the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act (AFCTCA). This amendment was added in 2009, establishing rules for Flight Crews to qualify for FMLA, with an “applicable monthly guarantee,” allowing our non-standard work hours to align with hours-of-service requirements in FMLA. With more work to do, FMLA was again revised in 2015, so same-sex couples can take it to care for their spouse or family member.
According to the Department of Labor, only 56% of adults in the U.S. who are not self-employed are eligible for FMLA. This worker protection labor law and all labor laws came into being because of the need to restore equity between corporate power and us, the workers. We have the right to care for our health and family when needed.
To be eligible for FMLA, you must have worked for 12 months and have met the 504 hours-of-service requirements to receive the maximum 72 days of leave in 12 months.
For American Airlines, FMLA is handled through the Absence Tracker. Go to Jetnet > Team Member Services > Flight Service > Create a Case. Once you create a case, you will be notified if you are administratively eligible for FMLA via email, the US Postal Service, and in the view attachments button in Absence Tracker. FMLA forms will be provided with each method of communication. If you are not administratively eligible, the information provided will be used to designate a Medical Leave.
For more information, visit apfa.org/resources/health/#loa
APFA National Health Chair
Rhonda “Rio” Curtright
APFA DE&I Co-Chair