Intermittent Leave Under FMLA

HR Resource
September 17, 2012 — 2,321 views  
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The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives certain eligible employees
the ability to take unpaid leave without having to worry about the security of
their jobs when qualifying family-related events occur. This leave is limited
to 12 weeks per calendar year, but an employee is not required to take all of
their FMLA leave consecutively.

Basic FMLA Eligibility Requirements

Employees wishing to take leave under FMLA must first make sure that they are
eligible for this type of leave. The eligibility requirements for FMLA are
listed below.

• Employees of public agencies are automatically eligible for the leave.
However, employees of private companies are only eligible if the company
employs a minimum of 50 people within a 75 mile radius and has done so for the
previous 20 weeks.
• The employee must be employed by the company for a minimum of one year prior
to requesting leave. A minimum of 1,250 work hours are required within this
time period.

Reasons for Taking FMLA Leave

Qualifying events that allow an employee to request FMLA leave are listed below.

• A serious health condition that renders the employee unable to work for a
temporary period of time
• Caring for an immediate relative that is suffering from a major illness
• The adoption of a child
• The birth of a child

Types of Intermittent FMLA Leave

It may be necessary for an employee to take intermittent leave to care for a
family member or child. For example, an employee may be rotating care schedules
of an immediate relative with other family members. 

Some employers will allow an employee to take intermittent leave in the form of
a reduced work schedule. Employees may be able to work a few hours per day or a
limited number of days per week or month in order to be available to care for a
family member without leaving work completely. 

Employers are sometimes entitled to deny intermittent leave requests that
seriously interrupt the work environment. Employees are encouraged to discuss
leave needs with employers as soon as the need for leave is discovered so a
schedule that benefits both parties can be negotiated.

Employees that are planning to take FMLA are reminded to notify employers as
soon as possible to minimize any impact on the company. While FMLA is not a
paid leave, employees are allowed to apply accrued paid leave to maintain income
while using FMLA.

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