Do we have to give FMLA leave to remote employees?
Q: Are our employees that work remotely, in homes that are more than 75 miles from our nearest location, eligible for FMLA?
A: Maybe. There are two different thresholds to determine whether someone is eligible for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). First, the employees must have worked for you for at least 12 months (which need not be consecutive), and have worked 1,250 hours in the 12 months before the leave is requested. Second, the employee must be employed at a worksite where 50 or more employees are employed within 75 miles. Assuming that the employee meets the threshold for service and hours worked, it would initially appear that the individual is still not eligible because s/he works out of a home that is more than 75 miles from your nearest location. However, for purposes of FMLA eligibility, the individual’s remote office is not considered the worksite; instead, the worksite is the office that they report to and from which assignments are made. This means that if the employee reports to and receives assignments from a worksite with 50 or more employees, he or she would be eligible to take FMLA leave.
If you are a Vigilant member, contact your dedicated Vigilant employment attorney for help on leave laws, or learn more about our flat-fee, unlimited employment law advice.