Manage Intermittent FMLA Leave

Key Points

  • Intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), or leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single FMLA-qualifying reason (rather than in one long block of time), is one of the most challenging aspects of FMLA administration because it can be unpredictable, irregular and frequently abused.
  • An employer does not have to grant intermittent leave under every circumstance (e.g., baby bonding), but the employer must understand when it can and cannot deny such requests.
  • An employer can effectively manage intermittent leave through the implementation and use of certain strategies and tools, such as: requiring medical certification and recertification, training supervisors and enforcing a well-written FMLA policy and company call-in procedures.
  • A number of states have family and medical leave laws that may have different requirements with regard to intermittent leave. An employer should always check state and local law to ensure it provides the greatest benefit to employees.

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