FMLA Compliance

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives 12 weeks of job-protected leave within a 12 month period to employees whose leave meets certain criteria. A common misunderstanding about FMLA is that it provides paid leave to employees. FMLA does not provide for any type of monetary compensation while the employee is on leave. The only requirement is that the employee be able to return to work at the same (or comparable) position.

It is possible that FMLA could be taken in a full 12 week installment, or perhaps just a period of a few weeks for a serious injury, or just one day at a time for a health condition that flares up sporadically.

FMLA does not apply to all employers or all employees.  Before doing too much research into the FMLA requirements make sure that:

1. You are covered as an employer

2. The requesting employee is eligible to take FMLA leave.

3. The requesting employee’s leave is covered under FMLA.

You are a “covered employer” if:

You employed 50 or more employees during 20 weeks of the current or  preceding calendar year.


You are a public agency.


You are a public or private elementary or secondary school.


An “eligible employee” must meet the following criteria: 

Has worked for the employer for at least 12 months


Has worked at least 1250 hours in the last 12 months


Works for an employer that has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of his/her jobsite


In order for an “eligible employee” to take Family Medical Leave they must meet additional criteria pertaining to the cause of their leave:

The leave is for a serious health condition of the employee or the employee’s spouse, child or parent.


The leave is for birth of a child, bonding with a newborn, placement of child in adoption or foster care, bonding with an adopted or fostered child.


The leave is related to certain types of military deployment or to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

If an employee is not granted Family Medical Leave correctly, terminated as a result of taking FML, or not reinstated to their position, the U.S. Department of Labor can assess back wages (for periods that the employee did not work if they were incorrectly terminated), damages, and/or require employers to reinstate employees. Family Medical Leave Act investigations often result in a “he said, she said” situation so it’s important to maintain detailed and accurate employee records. The Labor Brain can help you to determine whether an employee is eligible for Family Medical Leave, how to maintain the appropriate records, how to mediate a delicate Family Medical Leave situation and how to deal with a government investigation if an employees files a FMLA complaint. If you would like us to review your FMLA policies or help with any of the above please send us an email. 

The Labor Brain Inc. is not a law firm and its employees do not practice law or provide legal services.  The information provided on our website,  in email correspondence with representatives of The Labor Brain, and at outreach events is for informational and educational purposes only.  The information provided is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.