Employers with 50 or more employees must offer eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). But what about employers with less than 50 employees? Are they required to provide a leave of absence to an employee with an illness or injury or to an employee who has a family member with a serious illness or injury? Quite possibly. There are a number of federal and state laws which may require an employer to provide a leave of absence, even when the employer is not covered by FMLA. Continue reading
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period where their job is guaranteed upon their return. The law also requires that any group health insurance benefits the employee participates in are continued for the duration of the FMLA leave as if the employee was still working full time.
FMLA only applies to companies with 50 or more employees during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the previous or current calendar year. This may include members of controlled groups and joint employers if the total employee count is 50 or more. In addition, all public agencies (including local, state and federal government agencies) as well as public and private elementary or secondary schools are covered employers regardless of the number of employees.
To comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), covered employers have to do some decision-making and documenting. And this isn’t always easy because the FMLA rules can get complicated. The challenges become somewhat easier, however, when an employer uses two FMLA forms provided by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
But before getting to the DOL forms, an employer needs to know if the business or organization is obligated to comply with the FMLA. FMLA puts obligations on all companies which have 50 or more employees for each working day during each of the 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. All public agencies, and all public and private elementary and secondary schools are covered employers without regard to the number of employees they have.
Next, a covered employer needs to know if an employee is eligible to take leave under the FMLA. An eligible employee is one who works at a jobsite where 50 or more persons are employed within 75 miles of the jobsite. Also, an eligible employee must have been employed by the company for at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutively), and must have been employed for at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the start of the leave.
A sick, injured or pregnant employee can qualify for unemployment benefits when: