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Does the FMLA apply to remote workers?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Family And Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act helps protect employees who need to take unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. With the rise of remote work, many employees and employers wonder if FMLA applies to those who work from home.

It is important to understand how FMLA works and whether remote workers are eligible for its protections.

Eligibility criteria for FMLA

To qualify for FMLA, an employee must meet specific criteria. The employee must have worked for his or her employer for at least 12 months and have completed at least 1,250 hours of work during the past year. The employer must also have at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. These requirements apply regardless of whether the employee works on-site or remotely.

Remote workers and FMLA

Remote workers are eligible for FMLA if they meet the same criteria as on-site employees. The key factor is the location of the employer’s worksite, not the employee’s home. For remote workers, the worksite is the location where they report or receive assignments. If the employer’s worksite has 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius, the remote worker can be eligible for FMLA.

Benefits and protections

FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for eligible employees. This leave can come into play for various reasons, including the birth of a child, adoption, serious health conditions or the need to care for a family member with a serious health condition. During FMLA leave, employees retain their health insurance benefits and can return to their original or an equivalent position upon returning to work.

FMLA does apply to remote workers, provided they meet the eligibility criteria related to the employer’s worksite and the number of hours worked. Both employers and remote employees should understand these requirements to ensure proper compliance with the law.



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