From the Hotline: FMLA Exemption

Question: Does the maximum of 50 employees to be exempt from FMLA relate to full, part-time or are all employees included in the count? And if we are exempt based on employee count, as a local municipal government agency, are we required to offer FMLA leave to our qualified staff anyway?

Answer: Since you are a public/government agency you’re a covered employer, and eligible employees would be able to take FMLA accordingly. To answer your other question, part-time employees are counted the same as full-time for private employers.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to all:

  • Public agencies, including state, local and federal employers, and local education agencies (schools); and
  • Private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks (not necessarily consecutive workweeks) in the current or preceding calendar year, including joint employers and successors of covered employers.
    • Employees on paid or unpaid leave, including FMLA leave, leaves of absence, disciplinary suspension, etc., are counted as long as the employer has a reasonable expectation that the employee will later return to active employment.
    • Part-time employees, like full-time employees, are considered to be employed each working day of the calendar week, as long as they are maintained on the payroll.
    • If there is no employer/employee relationship (as when an employee is laid off, whether temporarily or permanently) the individual is not counted.