Q: We have over 50 employees, so I know the FMLA applies to us, but how do I determine whether an employee is eligible? And what do I do if they are?
A: An employee is eligible for FMLA if they:
- Work for a covered employer
- Have worked for the employer for at least 12 months total (time need not be consecutive)
- Worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave
- Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.
If an eligible employee requests FMLA, or you have sufficient information to know that an employee has an FMLA-qualifying reason for leave, you should provide the employee with the FMLA paperwork. This must be done within five business days of determining that an absence may qualify for FMLA. The initial paperwork includes:
- FMLA Request Form
- Appropriate Certification Form
- FMLA Safe Harbor Form
- Notification of Eligibility, Rights, and Responsibilities
When providing the initial paperwork, be sure to inform the employee that they have fifteen calendar days to return the request and certification form. Once you get these back, you will formally designate the leave by providing the employee with the following forms:
1. Designation Notice
2. Benefits Continuation Letter, if the employee participates in any company-sponsored insurance plans
Understanding the FMLA and all of its provisions can be daunting. Watch our webinar where we’ll help you navigate the complexities, starting with an overview of FMLA regulations and common issues — through employer best practices and the steps you need to take to properly manage leaves of absence.