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Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): You have questions. We have answers!

FMLA questions from our clients are prevalent in this sensitive area of HR, so we want to address the most common themes:

1. What is FMLA?

The overall purpose of FMLA is to mandate that certain employers provide a balance between the demands of the workplace and the needs of families by providing job-protected, unpaid leave to eligible employees.  By the way, in order to not empower your employees with legal knowledge, we recommend the term Family Medical Leave (FML) when addressing employee questions.

2. Is my company required to offer FML?

FML applies to private employers that have employed at least 50 employees during 20 or more calendar weeks during the current or preceding calendar year. 

3. Who is eligible for FML?

Employers must provide coverage to employees who have been employed under all the following conditions:

  • For at least 12 months.

  • For at least 1,250 hours of service during the previous 12-month period.

  • At a worksite where the employer employs at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the worksite.

4. Must employees be paid while on leave?

FML doesn't guarantee any sort of paid leave. An employee can elect to use paid leave that they have accrued, however. Employers can also require an employee to use paid leave as part of the FMLA leave as long as the employer provides the employee with the proper notification.

5. What type of event qualifies for FML? What kind of notice are employees required to give? Must all 12 weeks be taken consecutively? What if an employee comes back and can’t perform his/her job? Help!

While we would love to be able to anticipate every possible scenario and give you solutions in this newsletter, it’s simply not possible. Fortunately, our team of experts is available to help you navigate the ins and outs of FML.

For more information visit

Let us know how we can help you!


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