New federal bill would expand FMLA to cover part-time employees

fmla.jpegUnder the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

Consequently, part-time employees generally do not qualify for FMLA leave because they do not meet the 1,250-hour requirement.

However, a new bill introduced last month in the U.S. House of Representatives would change that if signed into law. It’s called the Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights Act of 2013 and you can download a copy of it here.

The Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights Act of 2013 would remove the 1,250-hour requirement. Thus, any employee with at least one year of service, working at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles, would qualify for FMLA.

Presently, the bill sits in Committee. It has a single sponsor, Rep. Janice Schakowsky [D-IL9], and gives it a 1% chance of passing.

  • Howard Deutsch

    Thanks Eric, this is useful information. The new legislation for part time employees is long overdue. Hopefully Republicans won’t find a reason to block it.

    • You’re welcome, Howard. Just do me a favor. Don’t hold your breath on passage of this legislation. Putting aside the necessary Republican endorsement to make it out of the House, the full scope involves more than amendment of the FMLA.

      • Anne Marie Pearson

        Thank you for keeping us up to date! Here in Pennsylvania, we are trying to expand the definition of whom we may protected leave from our jobs for to include siblings and grandparents ‘under special circumstances’ (that is, with no living spouse or children to take care of them). The family unit has certainly changed in our times. It has been an uphill battle that still continues. The legislation is currently in committee in the PA House and will be dually introduced in the PA Senate very soon.

  • anna

    I had requested for my congresswoman Bordallo to support this bill. Now, Employers are hiring more part time to avoid the disruption of services to their businesses. I support this bill and will ask our Local Senators to pass this in our Government.