Question: We have a handful of remote employees who work out of their homes in other states where we don’t have offices or other employees. Can these employees ever be eligible for FMLA since we don’t have 50 or more employees within 75 miles of them?
Answer: Yes, they may still be eligible for job-protected leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA regulations specifically state that an employee’s personal home isn’t considered a “worksite” if the employee works from home under a telecommuting or flexible workplace type of arrangement. Instead, their worksite is the office to which they report and from which assignments are given. The same principle applies to employees who travel a territory, such as salespersons, who generally come and go from their personal residences rather than an office. If the business location to which the remote employee reports has 50 or more employees within 75 miles, the employee is eligible for FMLA leave (assuming they meet all other eligibility requirements). For more information about FMLA eligibility or leave rights and requirements, see one of our many Legal Guides, such as At a Glance: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
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