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<i>Dear Workforce</i> We Are at 50 Employees. How Do We Prepare For FMLA?

December 28, 2010
Dear Crossing the Threshold:
You will need to begin complying with FMLA as soon as you employ 50 or more people for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. The law does not state that an organization must have 50 "eligible" employees (as in people who have worked there for 12 months). It states that organizations with 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year must comply. If you think you will cross that threshold, you should be preparing to comply in advance of the mark.

For starters, you will need to develop your own corporate FMLA policy, taking into consideration such key questions as:
• Will your organization run FMLA, disability and workers' compensation time concurrently?
• If your organization employs a married couple, will you allow both parents to take 12 weeks off for the birth of a child, or will you mandate that they split the leave time?
You also must develop the needed correspondence for employees who request leave, as employees who have worked for your organization for 12 or more months already are eligible and may begin taking leave.

You can find sample FMLA corporate policies, form letters, medical certification forms, posters and notification language from the Labor Department. The sooner you begin the process, the more prepared you will be to handle FMLA issues that can—and certainly will—arise.

SOURCE: Jim Brown, senior vice president of FMLASource, an affiliate of ComPsych Corp., Chicago
LEARN MORE: Organizations are struggling to adapt to frequent changes to FMLA.
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The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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