Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

From March 6 to March 8, the United States reported more than 500 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), spanning at least 34 states. As the number of cases continues to grow, so will the number of employees seeking job protection under the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

What is the FMLA?

At a very high level, the FMLA is a federal law that guarantees up to 12 weeks of unpaid job protection for certain eligible employees dealing with their own serious health condition, or taking care of a qualifying family member with a serious health condition.

A serious health condition is broadly defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

FMLA eligibility requires the following criteria:

  • The employee must have been employed with the company for 12 months
  • The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of an FMLA leave
  • The employer employs 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the worksite


Continue Reading COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act: An employer’s guide to medical leave and job protections