The Family and Medical Leave Act is an important provision that helps protect the work-life balance of many American workers. Under FMLA, certain employees can receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid, protected leave per year for specified family and medical reasons.
Circumstances that qualify for FMLA leave include caring for a newly born or newly adopted child as well as when you or a family member experience a serious health condition. If you work from home, however, you might have legitimate concerns regarding whether or not you are even eligible for FMLA.
What are the requirements for FMLA?
The basic FMLA requirements are that you work for your employer for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours over the last 12 months. There is also a requirement that the company you work for employs at least 50 workers within a 75-mile radius of its central location. If you meet these requirements, then you are eligible for FMLA even if you work from home.
When does FMLA not apply to remote workers?
If your employer’s central office does not employ 50 or more workers within a 75-mile radius, you will not be eligible for FMLA. In other words, a company that primarily employs remote workers a significant distance away from the central office from which they receive work is not likely to be an FMLA-eligible workplace.
Working from home does not exclude you from FMLA benefits unless your employer does not meet the requirement of employing a certain amount of workers within close proximity to the central office. If your employer wrongfully denies you FMLA benefits on the basis of being a remote worker, you may have grounds to pursue additional legal action.