Are employees who request FMLA leave before they are eligible for the leave entitled to the protections of the FMLA? It depends on whether the employee requesting leave will be eligible at the time of the leave.
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the FMLA protects a pre-eligibility request for post-eligibility leave. Pereda v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc. (11th Cir. Jan. 10, 2012). So "pre-post" is protected.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the FMLA does not protect a pre-eligibility request for pre-eligibility leave. Basden v. Professional Transportation, Inc. (7th Cir. May 8, 2013). So "pre-pre" is not.