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The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law in the United States that provides certain employees with job-protected, unpaid leave for specific family or medical reasons. The law was enacted in 1993 and applies to companies with 50 or more employees, and even staffing firms. Many staffing firms use Employer of Record (EOR) platforms to help mitigate risks associated with FMLA and other labor laws.

Qualifying Reasons for FMLA

FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for any of the following reasons:

  • Birth and care of a newborn child
  • Adoption or foster care placement of a child
  • Care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition
  • Personal serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of their job
  • Qualifying exigencies arising out of a family member’s military deployment
  • Care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the spouse, child, parent, or next of kin of the service member.

Under FMLA, eligible employees are entitled to the same or a comparable job upon their return from leave. Additionally, health benefits must continue during the leave period as if the employee were still working.

Who is Eligible for FMLA?

To be eligible for FMLA, an employee must meet the following criteria:

  • Work for a covered employer
  • Have worked for the employer for at least 12 months
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the start of FMLA leave
  • Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles

Employers covered by FMLA are required to display a poster in a conspicuous place explaining the provisions of the law and provide written guidance to employees regarding their rights and responsibilities under FMLA.

FMLA has been a valuable tool for employees who need to take time off for important family and medical reasons. The law has helped millions of workers balance their personal and professional lives while protecting their employment status and benefits. However, it can be specifically challenging for staffing firms to manage FMLA as they are unable to recoup losses they incur when staffed employees stop working for clients while on FMLA. If you have questions about FMLA, and are interested in understanding how an EOR can help mitigate the risks of loss due to FMLA, reach out to FoxHire for more information.

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