Q. We employ an FLSA-exempt employee who has been certified for intermittent FMLA leave for migraine headaches. He averages two to three intermittent absences per month. Normally, I would calculate the employee's total FMLA allotment as 480 FMLA hours (12 weeks x 40 hrs/wk), but he claims he should be entitled to 600 FMLA hours because he averages 50 hours worked per week. Is he correct? Help!?!
A. One of the (many) headaches of managing intermittent FMLA leave is keeping track of leave in increments smaller than one work week. For non-exempt employees, employers often calculate leave entitlement as 480 hours per FMLA year (i.e., 12 weeks x 40 hrs/wk). However, the FMLA regulations urge caution when making these calculations.
When dealing with a reduced schedule or intermittent leave under the FMLA, an employer first should calculate how many hours of leave an employee is entitled to. You make this calculation according to the employee's regular workweek. For example, an employee who regularly works a five-day work week and eight hours a day, is entitled to 480 hours of leave: 12 weeks x 40 hrs/wk. Similarly, an employee who works a four-day week and eight hours each day is entitled to 384 hours of leave: 12 weeks x 32 hrs/wk.
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