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The Family and Medical Leave Act, known to most as the FMLA, provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job protected leave in a 12 month period. The question is: who is eligible for FMLA leave? The basic answer to this question is simple although the specific details occasionally will be complex.  Employees are eligible for FMLA if they:

  1. Are employed by a covered employer;
  2. Have worked at least 12 months for the employer;
  3. Have worked at least 1250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding the needed leave;
  4. Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius; and
  5. Have a serious health condition (or an immediate family member with a serious health condition)

According to the FMLA a covered employer is one who has 50 employees in 20 workweeks in the current or proceeding year.  The definition of covered employer also includes public agencies (federal, state and local government) as well as primary and secondary schools. There are a few other matters that should be noted. First, it is required that the employee have worked for 12 months for the covered employer, but the 12 months of employment need not be consecutive. Second, 1250 hours works out to be about 24.5 hours per week if the employee has worked 52 weeks leading up to the need for leave.  Third, for private employers, the number of persons employed by the employer in excess of 50 within a 75 mile radius is irrelevant. Fourth, FMLA provides for unpaid leave for (a) the birth of a child or to care for a new born, (b) placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster, or to care for such child, and (c) to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition.

If you need an FMLA attorney in Concord, Charlotte, Greensboro, Knoxville, or other areas in North Carolina or Tennessee, please contact our law firm.