We have 29 employees total - are we required to follow FMLA regulations?

We have 29 employees total - 14 in Ohio, 5 in PA, 1 in NJ, 1 in GA and 1 in FL and 7 Over The Road Truck Drivers
What do we need to do as far as FMLA if anything - I recall there being a stipulation about so many employees within a certain mileage radius.
There is an employee going to be having knee surgery in December - what type of letter or information do I need to give him?

1 answer  |  asked Nov 12, 2010 11:33 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law and applies to U.S. employers of 50 or more employees. However, not all employees of covered employer are eligible for FMLA coverage. Instead, FMLA coverage is limited to employees who worked for that employer 12 months and 1,250 hours, at a worksite with 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius.

Since you have under 50 employees, you do not get to the question of whether they are within 75 miles of a single worksite.

Your employee may, however, have other rights under state and federal law. For example, if he is an "individual with a disability," as the need for knee surgery suggests, the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar state laws require you to provide a reasonable accommodation to this employee, which may mean an unpaid leave of absence.

Whether or not your employee's medical condition implicates rights under the ADA or some other state law depends on the particular facts of your case, as well as the state in which he or she works. A great number of employment rights surround employee medical conditions. The law in this area has been called, perhaps somewhat too dramatically, a quagmire. The point is, consult an experienced employment lawyer and chart a specific course for ensuring that you do not violate this employee's rights. A good employment lawyer can also help you communicate the decisions that you make to your employee.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Nov 12, 2010 1:37 PM [EST]

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