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Who does the FMLA cover?

FMLA leave enables employees to care for their needs and those of their families without the risk of losing employment. However, the FMLA does not apply to all workplaces and employees.

Workers in California should understand who is eligible for FMLA leave and which conditions it covers.

Employment conditions

Under federal law, the FMLA applies to organizations with more than 50 employees and all public agencies. An employee must work more than 1,250 hours over the past year to qualify for FMLA leave. Workers can use the FMLA to take time off if they experience serious health issues, including injuries and illnesses. The FMLA also covers childbirth and bonding with a newborn baby or adopted child. In addition, employees can use FMLA leave to care for parents, children and spouses with medical problems. Additional leave may apply for military spouses.

In California, the CFRA extends federal protections under the FMLA to include employers with more than five workers. Furthermore, California employees can take time off if they have grandparents, grandchildren, siblings or parents-in-law with health issues that require care.

FMLA coverage

Workers can use FMLA leave for a wide range of serious health issues. The FMLA covers conditions that require in-patient treatment at a hospital or residential facility. This can include physical and mental illnesses, impairments and injuries. Furthermore, health problems requiring ongoing treatment or medical supervision might qualify for FMLA coverage. Generally, the FMLA does not apply to elective procedures.

The FMLA is a law that requires larger employers to allow workers with health issues, pregnancies and family medical concerns to take unpaid leave.