Over the past few years, the Family Medical Leave Act hasn’t been able to help as many working families in Delaware as it was designed. FMLA was created to give employees access to job-protected and unpaid leave should a serious family problem or illness occur. However, the act does not cover those working for private companies that have fewer than 50 employees. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 6 million private companies within the U.S. That means potentially millions of citizens who would not qualify for the FMLA.
One of the biggest issues with employees who do not qualify for the FMLA is that they then have to turn to their employer for paid sick leave. This may become a burden on the business as small companies are usually already low in staff. In addition, laws across the country don’t necessarily force a business to provide paid leave, and thus employees are at the mercy of what the business owner decides.
You may believe that the industries not covered by the FMLA tend to be low-skill and low-paid, but that is far from the truth. In fact, some of the most high-skilled jobs not covered by the act include those in the scientific, professional and technical service sectors, to name a few. This is because many of those who employ these high-skilled individuals have a staff of fewer than 50 employees.
Although most companies know if they’re covered by FMLA, some run afoul of the regulations. It’s important to understand your rights as an employee. If you were wrongly denied these benefits, reach out to an attorney.