Defining The 'FMLA Leave Year' For Your Organization
By Charlie Bross
Under the FMLA, an employee is allowed 12 workweeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period known as the "leave year".
The 12 weeks of leave is a maximum for any combination of leave "types". Therefore, an employee could not take 12 weeks of leave for his own serious health condition and then another 12 weeks after the birth of his child within the same "leave year".
The FMLA allows the employer to determine one of several methods for determining its "leave year". The employer must select one leave year method, apply it uniformly for all employees, and communicate this choice to employees in its general and specific notices.
Methods an employer can use to select its leave year include:
If an employee is taking a given workweek as FMLA, the fact that a holiday may occur within that week has no effect - the week is still counted as a week of FMLA, or one-twelfth of the FMLA leave entitlement.
- Calendar year
- Fixed year
If the employer's activity temporarily ceases for one or more weeks, the days the employer's activities have ceased do not count against the employee's FMLA leave entitlement. Examples of this would be:
Also, an employer may impose a limitation regarding leave duration for spouses working for that same employer.
- School closing for holiday or summer vacation
- Employer closing a plant for retooling or repairs
For more tips, information, or suggested procedures on how to manage your FMLA compliance responsibilities, or the ability to earn a Certified FMLA Administrator designation, go to http://HRcertification.com/FMLA.asp