PRIVATE K-12 SCHOOLS AND THE FMLA
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides in pertinent part that public as well as private elementary and secondary schools are covered employers without regard to the number of employees employed. (29 C.F.R. § 825.104) But that is not the end of the inquiry. The regulations also provide that even though educational institutions, including public and private K-12 institutions, are covered by FMLA without regard to number of employees, the usual requirements for employees to be eligible do apply, including employment at a worksite where at least 50 employees are employed within 75 miles. 29 C.F.R. § 825.600
The Department of Labor provides the following illustration: For example, employees of a rural school would not be eligible for FMLA leave if the school has fewer than 50 employees and there are no other schools under the jurisdiction of the same employer (usually, a school board) within 75 miles. (29 C.F.R. § 825.600)
Rather than applying the 50 employee requirement to determine whether the educational institution is covered, the analysis will hinge on whether the employee qualifies. Why is this somewhat esoteric point important to private K-12 schools? Because it will impact the way private schools draft their policies and/or employee handbooks and how they administer the policies. Leave policies are one of the most frequently referenced policies of any employer, including schools. Appreciating this point will be valuable when drafting and administering the leave policy and/or employee handbook.
The purpose of this blog is to provide information. It is neither legal advice nor is it an advertisement for legal services. Please consult your legal counsel for legal advice regarding the FMLA.
Thanks for reading! – Debra
Tags: Debra Golymbieski, Department of Labor, Education Law, Family Medical Leave Act law, FMLA, FMLA law