Does Family Medical Leave Act apply to farm hands?

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Does Family Medical Leave Act apply to farm hands?

My brother-in-law works for a farm in WI and his uncle just passed away and his employer has refused to allow him bereavement, is that legal or does it violate the F.M.L.A? If so are there laws that protect him from retaliation by his employers?

Asked on September 1, 2011 Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The first issue is not the type of business, but its size. To be covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, an employer must employee at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius. An employer smaller than that is not required to provide leave.

Second, as the name implies, the Family and MEDICAL Leave Act applies to medical leave to care for self or certain family members, or for the birth or adoption of a child. It does not apply to bereavement leave, and, even if it did, I do not believe an uncle is one of the family members to which the law replies.

If you brother in law therefore is absent from work without his employer's permission, he will be inexcusably absent and may be fired for cause, unless he has some employment contract protecting his job in some fashion.


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