When is a business subject to the rules of the FMLA?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2022 | Business Law |

Small and medium-sized businesses have to carefully balance the cost of their operations with legal compliance. Any company can offer additional benefits or support to their staff members not required by law, but many will simply choose to adhere to federal statutes.

Some federal laws do impose a bit of a burden on an employer, so these laws only apply in certain scenarios. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants individual workers the right to request unpaid leave from a business. They can take time off of work without worrying about losing their job.

While an employer doesn’t have to pay them during that leave, it can be a hardship to run a business without a worker or to temporarily replace one. When does the FMLA apply to a business?

The company must be large enough to accommodate the request

Public organizations like schools and state employees are all subject to the FMLA regardless of how many individuals work for that particular agency or organization. Private-sector employers are only subject to the FMLA when they reach a certain size.

Typically, a business must employ at least 50 workers for the FMLA to apply. In fact, they will need to have met the rule for the number of employees for at least 20 weeks in the last year. Even then, the individual worker needs to qualify. They need to have put in enough hours and have been employed at the company for long enough to qualify. Their personal situation also needs to qualify for FMLA leave.

Knowing when different employment laws apply can help both workers and employers advocate for their best interests.