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All staff on payroll count toward FMLA threshold

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. We're a church with six full-time employees, three part-timers and six musicians who are paid per performance. Are we subject to FMLA? And who counts as an “employee” under the law: full-time, part-time and on-call workers, such as our musicians? —E.E., North Carolina

A. Good news: Your church is not a “covered employer” under the FMLA. For FMLA purposes, your church has only 15 employees and, therefore, doesn't need to comply. The law applies to all private organizations that employ 50 or more people in each working day during each of 20 or more calendar weeks during the current or preceding calendar year. All people on the payroll count toward that threshold; that includes part-time and temporary employees, plus those on paid or unpaid leaves of absence.

Key point: Some states have enacted their own FMLA-type laws that stipulate different coverage requirements, so employers should check their state laws.

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