Question: Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), is the “50 employees in a 75-mile radius” used to determine a “covered employer”?

Answer: There are two questions which determine coverage under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Is the employer a covered employer, and is the employee eligible?

An employer covered by FMLA is any person engaged in commerce or in any industry or activity affecting commerce, who employs 50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year.

A private employer is covered if it maintained 50 or more employees on the payroll during 20 or more calendar workweeks (not necessarily consecutive workweeks) in either the current or the preceding calendar year.

Once a private employer meets the 50 employees/20 workweeks threshold, the employer remains covered until it reaches a future point where it no longer has employed 50 employees for 20 (nonconsecutive) workweeks in the current and preceding calendar year.

An eligible employee is an employee of a covered employer who:

  1. Has been employed by the employer for at least 12 months, and
  2. Has been employed for at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave, and
  3. Is employed at a worksite where 50 or more employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles of that worksite.