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Who qualifies for FMLA leave?

Last week a blog series aimed at explaining how the Family and Medical Leave Act can benefit employees in Chaska, Minnesota was introduced. This week’s article will delve further into the subject to discuss precisely who is eligible for FMLA leave.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, not all employees can take advantage of FMLA leave because certain guidelines must be met. Perhaps the biggest one is that an employee must work for an employer who is covered by the law. Typically, private employers who have 50 or more employees are covered. Although private employers who have less than 50 employees are not covered, state family and medical leave laws may apply. Workers who are employed by government agencies and elementary and secondary schools are covered, even if there are less than 50 employees working there. 

Working for a covered employer is the first qualifying step for FMLA leave, but it isn’t the only one. You must also have been employed by your current company for a minimum of 12 months. Because this does not have to be consecutive, seasonal workers may qualify. You are required to work a minimum of 1250 hours in the 12 months prior to taking FMLA leave. This equals out to be around 24 hours a week for 12 months.

Unfortunately, even if the company where you work employees more than 50 employees, you may not be eligible for FMLA leave. If the company’s employees are at different locations and there are not 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of where you work, you will not qualify for FMLA leave.

Next week’s article will discuss the reasons for taking FMLA leave. 

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