FMLA for Remote Teleworkers


“My employee Sarah is the only one in that region/ state, so she can’t possibly be qualified for FMLA leave”. Not so fast!

Practical Law had a good summary of remote workers and the FMLA:
“Employers should analyze whether the employee meets the 50 employee and 75 miles requirement when the employee gives notice that leave is needed.

An employee who is deemed eligible for FMLA leave continues to be eligible for the next 12 months even if the number of employees drops below 50.

To determine whether an employee is eligible, the distance is based on:

  • the employee’s physical work site using surface miles over public streets, roads, highways and waterways by the shortest route;
  • or if an employee has no fixed work site:
  1. the employee’s work site is his home base, or
  2. the site to which he reports, or
  3. the site from which his work is assigned.”

Nothing prevents an amazing employer from giving all of its employees FMLA-leave, but they’re not required to.Here is the official DOL Field Assistance Bulletin on “Telework” and FMLA (scroll to page 2 of the pdf).

Contact Wendy for more advice.

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Wendy Sellers
Wendy Sellers, known as “The HR Lady®,” is a dedicated HR consultant and business partner of all size businesses, a conference speaker, and management trainer who specializes in understanding the unique culture and goals of organizations in order to improve business outcomes.

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