October 18, 2016

Intermittent Leave under the FMLA

Weekly HR News – FMLA

Intermittent Leave under the FMLA

Employees that are entitled to FMLA must be given 12 to 26 weeks of leave depending on the qualifying event as discussed in the previous articles.    What if the employee needs intermittent time off for a qualifying event?  For example, the employee can work but needs time off for physical therapy or for doctor appointments; or if the employee or their covered family member has only been released to return to work for partial work days or work weeks. 

For these type scenarios, the employee will be entitled to intermittent leave.  Intermittent leave is FMLA leave that will be taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason (29 C.F.R. § 825.202).  Intermittent leave is only required to be given by an employer if:

  • Medically necessary due to the serious health condition of a covered family member or the employee;
  • Medically necessary due to the serious injury or illness of a covered service member; or
  • Necessary because of a qualifying exigency.

While employees are entitled to FMLA for the birth of a child, in order to take intermittent leave during this time, the employer must have a policy in place that allows it.  The only exception to this is when the employee has a pregnancy-related illness.  In that case, the employee would be allowed to take leave intermittently based on the serious health condition requirement.

When taking intermittent leave, the employee must try to schedule the leave in a way that will be least disruptive to city operations.  If necessary, the employer may even transfer an employee to an equivalent alternative position, as long as that position offers the same pay and benefits. (29 C.F.R. § 825.204)

For additional questions regarding FMLA or other personnel related matters, contact Andrea Shindlebower Main, personnel services specialist.