The intermittent FMLA scrimmage

Nora T. Akins

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles employees to take an unpaid, job protected leave. It affects employers with 50 or more employees to assist employees in balancing the demands of the workplace with family needs. Eligible employees may take time off to care for themselves and their families. Employees are entitled to up to twelve weeks off in a year in most cases, and 26 weeks off for military caregiver leave.

Most employers understand the need and abide by the regulations. The record keeping of intermittent leave poses a burden to some employers. Time off may be taken in the smallest increment of time the employer uses for other leaves, but no more than one hour increments. An example of intermittent leave is taking the afternoon off for dialysis on a scheduled basis. Another example is time off on an unscheduled basis for migraine headaches. In both instances, the employee is entitled to leave regardless of the employer’s staffing need.

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