FMLA Rules and Regulations
The FMLA rules for small businesses is initially very clear; if you employ 50 employees or more, you are required to follow FMLA rules. If your business employs less than 50 people, you are exempt from FMLA rules. Employment law experts will tell you if that if you're on the underside of that 50, say 48 employees, you should still follow the rules of FMLA for your own protection.
Here's a quick breakdown of how to initiate the FMLA rules into your workplace:
Understand the Rules - If you employee 50 people or more, and they request family medical leave, you must grant that leave for up to 12 weeks if the employee has medical problems, is adopting or caring for a newborn child, or if they need to take care of an ill family member. Keep in mind that only full-time employees who have worked for you for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours and live within 75 miles of the workplace are eligible. Also, employees must have a desire to return to their job once their FMLA leave is complete. The FMLA law also states that you must continue to pay benefits for the employee, if you offer benefits, and have their job waiting for them upon their return.
Documentation - Employees are required to give you periodic updates and submit doctor statements or other statements throughout their leave that support the need for their leave to continue.
There are some rules that both the employer and employee must follow, however.