Does the Time I Worked as a Temp Count Towards My FMLA Entitlement?

Does the Time I Worked as a Temp Count Towards My FMLA Entitlement?

Yes it does.  See Miller v. Defiance Metal [an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers], a 1997 case out of the Ohio Federal Court, which provides an excellent discussion on why temp agencies and employers are considered "joint employers."

What does this mean?  Well, one is eligible for FMLA leave only after one year of employment with the company (the 12 months need not be consecutive), and only if one has worked 1,250 hours within the most recent 12 months of employment.

How can this be important?

Example 1:  So, let's assume that 13 months ago you began working full-time at Company A as a temp employee for TempAgency, Inc.  Six months ago (i.e. 7 months after you started as a temp), Company A hired you full-time.  Today, you break your leg, and need a month off and would like to take FMLA to protect your employment.  The company says, "No, you are not eligible for FMLA because you have only worked for us for 6 months."

Wrong!  Your are eligible because the first 7 months, when you worked at Company A while being paid by TempAgency, Inc., count towards your FMLA 12 months.

Example 2:  Thirteen months ago you began working 40 hours per week at Company A while an employee of TempAgency, Inc.  Six months ago (i.e. 6 months after you started working as a temp), Company A hires you on a part-time basis working 20 hour per week.  Today, you break your leg, and seek FMLA leave.  "No," the company says, "you are not eligible for FMLA because you only work part-time."

Wrong!  Since you have worked more than 1,250 hours during the 12 months that immediately preceded today when you broke your leg, you are eligible for FMLA leave.

More FMLA questions?  Click here for an overview as to how FMLA works.

Are you an Independent Contractor with a question about your rights under Pennsylvania's unemployment law?  Click here for information on that topic.

Read more articles about employment law issues at Philadelphia Area Employment Lawyer, a blog by John A. Gallagher.

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