How the FMLA Affects Your Company

By hrlineup | 02.01.2020

The Family Medical Leave Act, abbreviated as FMLA, is a statute that was set to bring balance to the needs of employees and employers in cases where employees need to take an extended medical leave for serious medical problems. Some of the conditions for which FMLA was set are for instance caring for sick family members or pregnancy. The law requires employers to give their employees time off in such cases, which allows them to go back to their jobs after a long leave without any penalties.

FMLA is mainly designed to affect larger employers. FMLA for small businesses was never in the minds of the framers of this law, because it was seen as quite difficult for a small business with a small number of employees to afford giving its employees a long-term leave. In larger businesses, this problem is not seen to be there and the covered employer is any employer who has over 50 employees working in their business every day in at least 20 or more calendar weeks every year.

The main Family Medical Leave Act regulations

The provisions of this law require employers to give their employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for such reasons as:

  • The birth and care of the employee’s newborn children
  • The placement of the employee’s son or daughter for foster care or adoption
  • The care for an immediate family member, such as a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition
  • An employee’s need to take a medical leave because they are unable to work following a serious health condition.

Employees who are eligible for FMLA provision include:

  • Those who have worked for an employer who is covered by the law for at least one year, though not necessarily consecutively
  • Those who have worked for at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months before applying for the leave
  • Those who work at a company where there are at least 50 employees

What does FMLA mean for employers?

FMLA will only apply to covered employers and these could be employers in the private sector as well as those in public agencies and schools. Covered employers are required to provide all FMLA benefits and protection to their eligible employees. Covered employers are also expected to comply with all the responsibilities provided under the FMLA law.

As for FMLA requirements for small business, the law will apply of the small business has at least 50 employees working within a 75 miles radius. Note that even part-time employees are eligible for the 12-week unpaid leave for the family and medical reasons. This is as long as the employee has worked at least 1,250 hours during the last 12 months following the leave application.

FMLA law is here to ensure that employees are getting time off for medical or family needs for at least 12-weeks and that after the leave; they are restored back to their original job or an equivalent job with no issues at all.