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The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers with 50+ employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to any employee who is seriously ill or needs to care for a family member who is seriously ill (with the exception of same sex couples, thanks to the ever-infuriating DOMA), so long as that employee has worked more than half-time for the previous year. People can take the leave all at once, or “intermittently” to, say, receive occasional treatments or to recover whenever an ongoing illness acts up.