12 Aug Working from Home?
Many people are not aware of the special rule for telecommuters in seeking FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) rights. If you work from home, you may be entitled to FMLA coverage if you meet the other qualifications.
Most employees know that they are covered under the FMLA if they have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and at least 1250 hours in the last 12 months. The employee also has to work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.
However, this rule about “50 employees within 75 miles” needs careful interpretation when it comes to employees who work from their home. The location where the employee works or their worksite needs to be determined.
Here are some important things to remember.
- The regulation states that “an employee’s personal residence is not a worksite”. For them, the worksite is “the office to which they report and from which assignments are made.” So, if a company with 25 employees in the home office, and at least 25 more employees working remotely who report to that office, all of the employees of that company are entitled to FMLA benefits.
- The FMLA has special rules for employees with no fixed worksite, like construction workers. For them, “the worksite is the site to which they are assigned as their home base, from which their work is assigned, or to which they report”.
Currently, with COVID-19, there exist several types of employment arrangements. For example, if your manager telecommutes then his worksite is where he reports or receives assignments and his home can’t be your worksite.
So, if your employer claims they are not covered under FMLA, verify what your rights are and consult with an experienced employment law attorney.