Family and Medical Leave Act Eligibility Requirements

Family and Medical Leave Act Employer Coverage

FMLA applies to a great number of employers. They include:

  • All public agencies. Any public agency, including federal, state, local, and education agencies, is covered by the guidelines set forth in the act.
  • Private sectors that have 50 or more employees (within a 75 mile radius) and they employ their employees for 20 or more workweeks during the calendar year. This excludes many seasonal employers.

Family and Medical Leave Act Employee Eligibility

Even if the employer must adhere to the coverage rules, there is no guarantee that it will apply to all employees at all times. There are some requirements that must be met before the employee may take advantage of FMLA. They must work for a covered employer, and:

  • Have been employed, by that employer, for at least 12 months. This helps to weed out the individuals that are seeking to work the system and only work for a few months before claiming they need several weeks of leave.
  • The individual must have worked for at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months before starting their leave. This comes out to just under an average of 25 hours per week.

Family and Medical Leave Act Entitlement

The individual that meets the coverage and eligibility requirements listed above may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period, as long as the leave is covered by one of the following reasons:

  • Birth of a son or daughter. This is different than maternity leave, and it applies to both parents.
  • Placement of a foster child, or a newly adopted child, with the employee. Similar to the previous reason, but for non-biological children.
  • Care of an immediate family member that has a serious health condition. This applies to spouse, children, or parent, but does not apply to parent-in-law.
  • Care of oneself for a serious health condition. These conditions can be physical ailments, or mental illness. Many require a doctor’s certification that the individual was unable to work during the time off.

Contact Phillips Dayes

Many employees across the country are covered, and the eligibility requirements listed above are the federal minimums. Some states have opted for stricter guidelines, and some employers have opted to make their own policies stricter than what the government requires (for instance, employers must adhere to the guidelines if they have 15 or more employees, federal mandate says 50). However, if you work for an employer that is covered, and you have met the eligibility requirements, but you still have had your leave interrupted, interfered, or retaliated against, you may be able to seek compensation from your employer. Contact an attorney from the by filling out the form on this page, or by calling 1-800-917-4000 to schedule your free initial consultation.