How to Determine Who is Covered Under FMLA

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who is covered under fmla

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year. It is also required that health benefits be maintained while the employee is on leave.

However, how do you know if FMLA coverage is an option for your employee? Who is covered under FMLA? We spoke with ERC's HR Help Desk Advisors about the steps to take to decide if your employee would qualify for coverage under FMLA.

Determine if an employee is eligible for FMLA coverage

Here are some guidelines to follow to determine if an employee is eligible for FMLA coverage. And remember, all must apply.

  • Employees must work for a covered employer (50 or more employees)
  • Have worked for that employer for at least 12 months
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the FMLA leave
  • Work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed at the location or within 75 miles of the location

Determine unpaid leave

A covered employer must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period.

For this to happen, one or more of the following reasons must apply. Watch the video below to hear those reasons;


  • The birth of a son or daughter, and to care for the newborn child
  • The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to bond with the newly placed child within one year of placement
  • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition
  • When the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition

We will be back next week with the Help Desk Advisors to go over how to determine what is considered a serious medical condition under FMLA.

HR, compliance, termination, or compensation questions?

ERC has a team of HR Help Desk Advisors to provide timely and trusted answers.

Contact the Help Desk