Family and Medical Leave Act, abbreviated as FMLA enables employees working for eligible employers to take up to 12 weeks of leave. FMLA offers job-protected leave but it’s unpaid. Not all employees are eligible for the FMLA leave though. There are FMLA guidelines that both the employee and the employer must meet.
Although an employee who’s eligible for FMLA leave won’t get paid, the employee will get to keep his or her job. The most common reason why employees use their FMLA leave rights is to go on maternity/paternity leave. The FMLA leave helps employees who want or need the leave to take care of a family member. Even veterans and military service members on active duty are eligible.
While the FMLA leave sounds amazing and a lifesaver at times, the employee must be working for an eligible employer. The employee also needs to qualify for the FMLA leave. Here is everything you should know about the FMLA guidelines which must be met by both the employer and the employee.
FMLA Guidelines – Employers (Covered Employer)
Under the current FMLA guidelines, the employer must have at least 50 employees working for him or her within 75-mile radius of the workplace. If the employee happens to have less than 50 employees, the employee who’s requesting the FMLA leave isn’t eligible for it.
FMLA Guidelines – Employees
FMLA guidelines for employees are fairly simple. The employee must fulfill the following requirements to go on FMLA leave.
- The employee must be working for at least 12 months prior to the leave.
- The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours prior to the leave. The 1,250 hours is about 24 hours a week so even part-time employees are eligible for FMLA leave under the current guidelines.
If any of the eligibility requirements aren’t met by the employer and the employee, it means the employee isn’t eligible for the FMLA leave. The employees who qualify for the FMLA leave and work for a covered employer can go on FMLA leave. Employers cannot refuse to allow employees to use their FMLA leave. It’s simply against the law for employees to refuse FMLA leave.