This blog was written by Rochele Bertasso, Senior HR Business Partner at Helpside.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires certain employers to offer qualified employees unpaid time off for qualifying events. For your company to be covered under FMLA, you must employ 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the employees’ worksite. If you have remote employees, the idea of the 75-mile radius might get a little complicated. Here are some clarifications:
What Does FMLA Provide?
FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of job and benefits protected leave for employees who qualify.
What is Required Under FMLA?
Employees who qualify for FMLA coverage must:
- Work for a covered employer
- Work where there are 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the worksite the employee reports to and receives assignments from.
- Work at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the leave.
- Have worked for the employer for at least 12 months.
Beyond these qualifiers, the employee must have a qualifying reason to use FMLA leave. Some of these reasons include pregnancy, birth of a child, adopting or fostering a child, serious or chronic health conditions for oneself or to provide care for a qualifying family member. If employees meet these requirements, employers must offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave, or 26 weeks if military exigencies apply.
What Counts as a Worksite Under FMLA?
A worksite, in the case of remote workers, is the office the employee reports to or from which assignments are made. A personal residence or home doesn’t count as a worksite. Because of this, most if not all remote employees would count toward the 50 threshold at the worksite they report to.
What if You Have No Worksite?
In the Field Assistance Bulletin (“FAB”), issued February 9, 2023, the Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) states that employees who work remote are eligible for FMLA leave. However, a personal residence is not considered a worksite.
FAB states that when an employee works remote, their worksite, for FMLA eligibility purposes, is the office to which they report or from which their assignments are made. So, if an employee is within 75 miles from the employer’s worksite, the employee meets that FMLA eligibility requirement.
In addition, the number of employees within 75 miles of a worksite includes all employees who report to the worksite, and remote employees who report and receive assignments from that worksite.
FMLA compliance can get complicated. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our HR experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.