The Chicago Employment Law Blog

How to Calculate How Much FMLA Leave You Have Left

Calculating how much FMLA leave you have left can be extremely difficult.

While the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) generally provides that eligible employees may receive 12 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period for qualifying reasons, there are still plenty of questions as to just what this means.

Here are some general guidelines.

You Are Charged for Your Actual Usage

The first rule to calculating how much FMLA leave you have left is knowing that only the amount of leave you actually take can be counted against your FMLA leave entitlement, according to the Department of Labor.

What this means is that if you take FMLA leave for less than the full workweek, the amount of FMLA used is determined as a proportion of your actual workweek. So if you take 20 hours of FMLA leave during a 40-hour workweek, you will be charged with using half of one week for FMLA leave.

However, if your employer is not scheduled to operate during that week or employees are not expected to report (like schools during the summer or over winter break), then that full week cannot be counted as FMLA leave.

What About Holidays?

Holidays present a unique challenge to calculating FMLA leave.

Generally, if a holiday falls during a week in which the employee takes the entire week off, the entire week including the holiday will be charged against the employee's FMLA leave entitlement. On the other hand, if the employee is taking less than a full week off, the holiday is not counted as FMLA leave.

Abnormal Schedules

Some workers have schedules that change dramatically from week to week. So if a worker needs FMLA leave, how will he (or the employer) know how to charge this time off?

In cases where an employer is unable to determine how many hours the employee would have worked, the employer can use a weekly average to calculate the employee's FMLA leave entitlement. The average will be taken over the 12 months prior to the beginning of the requested leave.

Contact a Lawyer

If you have a question about your FMLA leave entitlement and whether your employer is properly keeping track, you may want to talk to an employment attorney.

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