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FMLA Policies and Hybrid Work: Clearing Up the Confusion

By February 9, 2022 No Comments

The US Department of Labor initially introduced FMLA as a means to make it easier for employees to reasonably balance their work and family responsibilities. It’s important to keep in mind that it was passed way back in 1993, however. At that point, the global skyrocket in the utilization of the World Wide Web had yet to take place. That means the hybrid and remote work model certainly had not even been a thought yet, and that FMLA certainly was not created with these models in mind. This can introduce some confusion for companies trying to create sound family and medical leave policies. In this blog, we hope to clear up that confusion to ensure your policies accurately reflect the employment conditions of today.

FMLA Policy Insights for Hybrid Work

To determine FMLA leave eligibility, we can turn to the following criteria:

  • Has the employee been with the company for at least one year?
  • Has the employee worked 1250+ hours in the last year?
  • Does the employer employ 50+ individuals within a 75-mile radius?

The first two questions are rather straightforward, but the last one introduces confusion and concern for many employees. Essentially, the physical location the employee is reporting to is in question here. That means that if the 50 in-person or hybrid employee baseline is met within a 75-mile radius, then remote workers outside of that radius are also eligible for FMLA leave.

Now that hybrid work and remote work are fixtures across virtually every industry, it is critical to have the following key points in mind when drawing up FMLA policies of your own:

  • Mandate employer notification when employees will be working in a different jurisdiction to confirm sustained eligibility based on local laws in the new location.
  • Be sure to meet continual FMLA posting requirements by selecting a medium that employees are familiar with and that they can always access. Physical posters work in person, but you will need to establish an electronic posting method for remote employees.

If you’re not sure how to draft up an FMLA policy for your workplace, it’s important to work with a reputable Benefits Broker who can help you navigate the process.

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TriBridge Partners is an Expert Services Firm in the areas of Modern Health and Employee Benefits, HR Technology, Retirement Plan Services, Executive and High Performer Compensation, and Employee Engagement. Everything we do, we do because we believe in making a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve. To discover how our experts can assist your organization or business, please call our office today at 240-422-8799 or email Jessica Storck at Jessica.storck@tribridgepartners.com