FMLA FAQ: Is a Reinstated Employee Short on "Hours Worked" Eligible for FMLA Leave?


Q. We terminated an employee who has been reinstated by an arbitrator with full back pay. Now, he has requested FMLA leave. Are we obligated to provide leave even though he has not worked 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months?

A. When determining whether an employee has worked the requisite 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months to be eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, an employer must account for hours actually worked by the employee within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 29 CFR § 825.110(c). The issue here is whether an employer must treat the back pay award as the equivalent of "hours worked."

This issue even has the courts conflicted. In Plumley v. Southern Container, Inc., the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that several months of back pay awarded to an employee who was reinstated after successfully grieving his termination does not count towards the 1,250-hour requirement. The court found that hours worked....

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Franczek Radelet P.C. on:

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