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.

 A terminated employee who had made a “pre-eligibility request” for a ”post-eligibility leave” can pursue FMLA interference and retaliation claims, according to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The Court reversed the district court decision, which had dismissed both claims because the plaintiff was not FMLA-eligible at the time of her termination.