Department of Labor Addresses FMLA for Remote Workers
Senior Compliance Attorney
On February 9, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2023-1. This bulletin addresses the application of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility requirements to remote employees.
As a reference, current FMLA rules state that an employee is eligible to use FMLA leave if the following conditions are met:
- The employee has worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
- The employee has at least 1,250 hours of service the employer during the 12 month period preceding the need for FMLA leave; and
- The employee works at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius.
Hours of Service
The DOL guidance states that employees who work remotely are eligible for FMLA leave on the same basis as employees who report to any other worksite to perform their job. The employer is required to keep accurate records of a remote employee’s compensable hours for FMLA eligibility purposes.
For remote or telework employees, the employee’s personal residence is not considered a worksite. Rather, the worksite for FMLA purposes is the office to which the employee reports or from which their assignments are made. If 50 employees are employed within 75 miles from the location to which the employee reports, the employee would meet the FMLA eligibility requirement. In addition, the 50 employee threshold is determined by counting all employees whose worksite is in that area, including employees who work remotely.
This guidance from the Department of Labor clarifies how employers should be applying FMLA rules for employees engaged in remote work. Employers would be well-served to review this guidance from the DOL to ensure their FMLA policies remain in compliance.
The information provided is a summary of laws and regulations relating to employee benefit plan compliance. This information should not be construed as legal advice. In all cases, employers should consult with their own legal counsel.