Family or medical leave laws generally protect covered employees from adverse actions such as termination or reassignments to substantially different positions or reductions in pay because the employee is absent from work to care for his or her own serious health condition or that of a family member. Such periods off of work are "protected leave" under these laws. The law also protects absences due to child birth or adoption. It covers both men and women equally. Both Federal and Wisconsin law provides for such protected leave. They each have different levels of protection, and some people will be covered by both laws while others will be covered by one and not the other. Unfortunately, there will also be people that are not covered by either law.