The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires certain employers to provide up to 12 weeks of job protected leave (up to 26 weeks for certain military-injury-related leaves) in certain situations. The following are “covered employers” that are required to provide this leave:
- Private-sector companies that employ 50 or more employees during at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. This includes joint employers or successors in interest to a covered employer.
- Public agency, including a local, state, or Federal government agency, regardless of the number of employees it employs; or
- Public or private elementary or secondary school, regardless of the number of employees it employs.
Two “separate” companies with sufficient legal integration could be found to be joint employers in certain situations, such that their employees will be added together to see if the 50-employee threshold is met. Successors in interest who laid off employees to get below the 50-employee threshold may still be obligated to provide this leave, at least in the year 50 employees were employed.
If your organization falls into one of these categories, you will have certain obligations under the FMLA – even if none of your employees are eligible for leave.
Employers are advised to consult with counsel regarding your obligations under this sometimes-complex law, and how it intersects with any applicable state or local laws that also provide family and medical leave to employees.