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Your Employee Might Need Leave…Now What?

What is Required When Implementing Leave of Absence Policies?
By Charlotte Altamirano, HR Consultant

Navigating leave of absence policies at the workplace can be tricky – so tricky that the HR world is calling leave policies the “New Bermuda Triangle.” These policies can spark a lot of questions for employers and employees, such as:

  1. Who is eligible?
  2. What are the employer’s legal requirements?
  3. How does a serious health condition come into play with FMLA and ADA?

The Bermuda Triangle is known for its mystery, but leave policies don’t have to be! Starting with some quick facts helps demystify employer obligations.

Workers’ Compensation (WC) applies to all employers and employees.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to any business with 50 or more employees. Employees are eligible for FMLA when they meet all three of the following criteria:

  • They have worked for the employer for at least 12 months
  • They have at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave
  • They work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75 miles radius

If an employee is eligible for FMLA, they are able to take up to 12 workweeks in a 12-month period of leave.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to any business with 15 or more employees.

Employers need to be ready to handle each leave policy individually, even though the policies may overlap. Some of the most important considerations for employers include:

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