Who are the eligible employees under the FMLA?

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires employers to offer to employees 12 weeks of unpaid time to take care of family business. The family business could be for pregnancy, or it could be to care for a sick family member. The FMLA allows employees to apply for leave and the employer is required to return them to their same job or an equivalent when the 12 weeks are up. But, the FMLA does not apply to every employee. This post will go over the covered employers and employees.

The FMAL binds all government employers, local, state, and federal. It also applies to school districts and other similar quasi-government districts. But, in the private sector, the FMLA is only applicable to employers who have 50 or more employees working for 20 or more workweeks in the current or previous year. 

Therefore, employees that work at jobs with less than 50 employees are not covered by the FMLA. Additionally, the FMLA only applies to employees who have worked a minimum of 12 months before taking FMLA leave. Furthermore, that employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during those 12 months. Finally, the employee must work in a location wherein at least 50 employees work or within 75 miles of such a location.

The 12-month rule does not require continuous time. But, the 12-month clock does reset if the employee hasn’t worked at the employer for seven years or more. Finally, National Guard and Reserve service members are exempt from the seven-year rule.

Did you apply for maternity leave and your employer denied you? If that is the case, you may want to contact a lawyer for assistance. An attorney can go over the specifics of the FMLA and help you determine if you have a valid claim for leave. If your employer denied you for the wrong reasons, then you may have a claim for discrimination or violation of your rights. A lawyer can walk you through what to do if that is the case. 

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