The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to employers who have 50 or more employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year. Those 50 employees must be employed within the same 75-mile radius, so an employer with 45 employees in Melbourne and 45 employees in Miami would be required to provide FMLA leave.
FMLA is often unavailable to part-time employees, since employees must have worked at least 1,250 hours within the past year in order to be eligible for protected leave. Employees must also have worked at the company for at least one year.
What qualifies for FMLA
Employees who are entitled to FMLA leave are permitted to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in any one-year period for certain qualifying medical events. An employee may take FMLA leave for his or her own serious medical condition or to care for a parent, spouse, or child with a serious medical condition. FMLA leave can also be taken after the birth of a child or after an employee takes in a child through a foster program or adoption. Lastly, FMLA leave can be used for certain exigencies relating to a family member’s military service or deployment.
An employer is entitled to ask an employee for a medical certification supporting the need for FMLA leave. Employees must provide the medical certification to the employer within 15 days of the request.
When an employee returns from FMLA leave, the employer must typically restore the employee to the same or a comparable position with equivalent terms and conditions of employment. Employees who have issues being returned to work, or employers who have questions about providing an employee with FMLA leave may want to consult with an employment law attorney.