FMLA May Not Apply to You

You may not be eligible for FMLA even if you work for a big company.

In the US, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers protections when an employee can’t work. This link has all the details, but the basic idea is that an employee can take 12 weeks of leave every 12 months. The company doesn’t have to pay the employee, but they do need to continue offering health insurance and then offer the employee an “equivalent job” when they come back.

My understanding was that FMLA applies to companies with at least 50 employees, but there is another important provision. FMLA only applies if the employee works at a location that has at least 50 employees within 75 miles. (details)

In this age of remote work, there are a lot of employees who do not meet that criteria. Even if you work for a 1000 person company that has small offices spread throughout the country, FMLA does not apply to anyone working in those small offices.

I am very fortunate that my company has been very accomodating, but I was surprised when HR said FMLA doesn’t apply to me.