How far back does an employer need to go to determine whether an employee meets the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility requirement of 12 months of service?

Author: Demetrius O. Holloway, Stites & Harbison

An employer must count any time of service within the seven years preceding the date of FMLA leave. Generally, time spent before a break in service of seven years or more is not counted toward the 12 months, but there are exceptions to this rule.

For example, time worked before a break in service must be counted if:

  • The break in service is the result of the employee's military service or National Guard or Reserve service; or
  • The employer has made a written commitment to rehire the employee after the break in service.