Louisiana workers have certain rights under the law. One right is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Certain employees can to take time off without fear of losing their job if it is for specific family and medical reasons. This is unpaid leave. Knowing which employers are covered and what employees are eligible is a basic matter that is often forgotten if there is a dispute or misunderstanding about FMLA. This is especially true for employers who are facing accusations of violating FMLA.

FMLA is only applicable for certain employers. They must meet various criteria to fall under this law. It must be an employer in the private sector who has 50 or more employees who worked 20 or more workweeks in the prior calendar year. This includes a joint employer or a new owner of a covered business. A public agency such as a local, state or Federal government is covered no matter how many employees it has. A school — public or private, elementary or secondary — is covered no matter how many employees it has.

Employees have certain criteria that must be met to be eligible for FMLA coverage. The employee must work for an employer who is covered. He or she must have worked for the employer for a minimum of 12 months. The worker must have worked for a minimum of 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately prior to the leave. And the location must be at a place where the employer has a minimum of 50 employees within 75 miles. The 12 months are not required to be consecutive.

For employers who have workers seeking to use FMLA or are making accusations that the law was violated, it is imperative to understand who is protected by this law. Discussing a case with a legal professional who is experienced in helping employers with cases surrounding FMLA is a key part of employment law and is the first call to make when dealing with FMLA issues.

Source: dol.gov, “Wage and Hour Division (WHD) — Fact Sheet #18: The Family and Medical Leave Act,” accessed on July 25, 2017