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Branch offices and FMLA leave

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. Our company has about 75 employees scattered throughout 10 offices in the state, with a maximum of 10 in any one office. One of our employees has requested FMLA leave for a serious health condition. Do we have to provide it?

Maybe not. Any private-sector employer with 50 or more employees is covered by the FMLA. That means you are required to have an FMLA policy.

However, for an employee of a covered employer to be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee has to: (1) have worked for at least 12 months, (2) have worked 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding the leave, (3) work at a work site with at least 50 employees within 75 miles and (4) have a reason for the leave entitled under the FMLA.

Here, the third requirement may not be met, depending on how many employees are located within 75 miles of the particular employee’s work site.

Some court cases, however, have defined “work site” as the place from which the employee receives direction. It has resulted in some odd arrangements, such as employees in the Southwest having a work site in Connecticut.

If the employee receives direction from someplace other than the office where he or she works, ask your attorney for advice.

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