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2 small companies, 1 owner: Could we be covered by the FMLA?

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in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Q. We are a small manufacturing company with 16 employees. We distribute our products through another company, which we also own. The distribution company has 38 employees. One of our manufacturing employees is pregnant and has asked for time off. She says she is entitled to leave under the FMLA. Is this true?

A. Yes, she may be entitled to FMLA leave, even though the manufacturing company has fewer than 50 employees. Under the FMLA, separate companies may be treated as a single employer if they meet the “integrated employer” test.

If this test is satisfied, the employees of all entities are counted in determining employer coverage and employee eligibility for FMLA leave, as long as the two companies combined have 50 or more employees.

Factors normally considered under the integrated employer test are common management, interrelation between the companies, centralized labor relations and common ownership or financial control.

If these or other factors concerning the relationship between your two companies show that they are “integrated,” then there is a strong probability that you would be covered by the FMLA.

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