Intermittent, reduced schedule FMLA leave is challenge for many employers

Q&A with Paige Hoster Good

published in The Oklahoman | July 24, 2019

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave every year for qualifying family and medical-related reasons.  Such leave, however, does not have to be taken all at one time.  In fact, it’s very common for workers to take leave on an intermittent basis for both scheduled reasons (such as ongoing chemotherapy appointments) and for unscheduled reasons (such as treating chronic conditions that occasionally flare up).

In a business Q&A with The Oklahoman, labor and employment attorney Paige Hoster Good discussed the various challenges that employers and human resources professionals face when administering intermittent and reduced schedule leave.

“The biggest challenges come in the form of tracking the absences because they are in varying increments, including notifying employees what hours are being counted toward their bank of FMLA hours, retroactively designating and counting absences as intermittent, requiring recertification when justified, and identifying potential leave abuse,” said Good.  “Unfortunately, intermittent leave is the most common type of leave that is abused, and its up to the employer to investigate potential abuse.”