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Does FMLA cover all employees?

Your recent pregnancy has made it necessary for you to take time off from your job. The Family and Medical Leave Act grants workers time away from a job to handle certain family situations for up to 12 weeks. However, you might not be sure if FMLA leave will cover you.

According to U.S. News and World Report, whether FMLA will protect your rights depends mainly on the company you work for and the length of time you have spent working for your employer.

The employee size of your workplace

If you work for a business that does not have many employees, you probably will not qualify for FMLA. Federal law dictates that a workplace must have no less than 50 employees for a period of 20 weeks or more in the present or prior year. FMLA does not cover a company that hires less than 50 workers.

Your time as an employee

If you work at a company covered by FMLA, you must have the right work history or FMLA will not protect you. The law requires you to have worked for your employer for at least one year. In addition, you must have completed 1,250 hours for the year that you have worked.

If you work for eight hours in a day, the federal requirement would add up to at least 156 days in a one-year period, though your exact number of days will vary according to factors like overtime. Your number of hours completed, however, is the primary measurement for your eligibility.

Be ready to make your case

Knowing whether you qualify for FMLA can help you decide to pursue leave under this law. You may have to provide a doctor’s medical certification of your condition if your employer asks for it. In the event your employer disputes the length of your work history, you may need documentation of your time working for your employer. The right paperwork could help you prevent an effort by your employer to deny you your rights.

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