FMLA eligibility is a critical component of any FMLA claim. An employee that cannot prove eligibility for FMLA at the time of the request or leave cannot recover for an employer’s FMLA violation. Eligibility rules under the federal employment law statute are highly technical. The rules derive from a mix of statute, regulation and common law (court opinions).
Texas employees are eligible for FMLA leave if they meet each of three conditions:
- The employee is an eligible employee under FMLA
- The employer is a covered employer under FMLA
- The employee has a qualifying reason for FMLA leave
1. The employee is an eligible employee under FMLA.
An employee is eligible under FMLA if he or she:
- Has worked for the covered employer for at least one year; and
- Has worked 1250 hours in the preceding twelve months; and
- Works at a worksite that includes at least fifty employees within a seventy-five mile radius.
2. The employer is a covered employer under FMLA.
Covered employers under FMLA include all government agencies at the local, Texas state and federal levels. FMLA also covers all private employers with fifty or more employees.
3. The employee has a qualifying reason for FMLA leave.
- The birth of a child and bonding with a newborn within one year of birth
- Bonding time with a child placed in the employee’s home due to foster care or adoption within one year of placement
- The employee’s serious medical condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job
- A serious medical condition of a spouse, child, or parent
- A qualifying exigency due to the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is a military member on covered active duty
- Care of a military servicemember with a serious injury or illness
If your employer violated your FMLA rights by wrongfully denying leave when you are eligible then you should contact a Texas FMLA lawyer to discuss your options.