Does FMLA allow for part-time employees to participate?
Does the over 50 employees apply to the state of California.
First, to answer your question about federal FMLA, which applies in all 50 states: Yes, FMLA applies to many part-time workers. In fact, the FMLA law (like most employment laws) does not discriminate between part-time and full-time workers.
FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more workers within 75 states. (Several states have family leave laws that apply to smaller companies.) An employee who has been with the company for 12 months qualifies. Those 12 months need not be continuous — an employee can work for your company 5 months and then return three years later for another 7 months, and it will count as 12 months.
In addition, the employee must have worked 1,250 hours in the past 12 months to qualify. Worked means worked — vacation time, sick leave, etc. does not count as hours worked. In practice this means that an employee must average about 24 hours per week, 52 weeks per year to qualify for FMLA. However, an employee who normally works fewer hours or fewer weeks can qualify if they worked more hours during some weeks.
An employee who qualifies for FMLA takes it on the same basis as their work schedule. Katina normally works 25.5 hours per week, and is otherwise qualified for FMLA. She is entitled to take 25.5 hours of continuous FMLA each week for 12 weeks. Or, she is entitled to 306 hours (25.5 x 12 = 306) of intermittent FMLA in a 12-month period.
California and several states have family leave laws that apply to smaller companies. The CFRA is basically the same as FMLA (it should be — the federal law used the California law as a model.) However, California has a total of 5 family leave laws and some apply to an employer with as few as 2 workers.
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