FMLA ? and intermittent leave for those in the know or lawyer moms — The Bump
Working Moms

FMLA ? and intermittent leave for those in the know or lawyer moms

I am considering the option of returning to work on a part-time basis (intermittent FMLA) prior to the end of my 12 weeks FMLA.  My assumption was that by putting in some working hours in the final weeks, I would use less FMLA hours therefore extending the 12 weeks a bit.  This article seems to indicate that's how it works.

In speaking with our HR department yesterday, I was told that FMLA is up when your 12 weeks is up, regardless of the hours worked intermittently.  

A bit of Google searching turned up some articles that imply that with FMLA you basically have 480 hours (40 hours/week x 12 weeks) to use so I am trying to confirm whether FMLA ends when the hours are exhausted, or when the 12 weeks is up.

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Assuming this would work with my employer, a possible return-to-work scenario could be;

  • Take 9 weeks off using FMLA (360 hours FMLA)
  • Work 24 hours/week for weeks 10-13 (64 hours FMLA)  
    • Subtotal of FMLA hours =  424
  • Work 32 hours/week for weeks 14-20 (56 hours FMLA)
    • Total FMLA hours used by this point = 480 over the span of 20 weeks.

Does anybody have experience with this?  I'm wondering if it is the employer's call as to when FMLA ends or if you do, in fact, have 480 hours to "chip away at" for an extended period of time.

Thanks in advance for any advice or thoughts!

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Re: FMLA ? and intermittent leave for those in the know or lawyer moms

  • FMLA is up when you exhaust the time equivalent of 12 weeks. some employers use a rolling calendar. Intermittent youdo not have to use all at once burt if this is after you have baby, then you may need to show its for care of newborn and go through process with your H R again for I-FMLA.

    If the above arrangement works I don't see why they can't count the days you are not there as FMLA days.

    I'm in H R - Good luck

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  • image Mrs_Lady:

    FMLA is up when you exhaust the time equivalent of 12 weeks. some employers use a rolling calendar. Intermittent youdo not have to use all at once burt if this is after you have baby, then you may need to show its for care of newborn and go through process with your H R again for I-FMLA.

    If the above arrangement works I don't see why they can't count the days you are not there as FMLA days.

    I'm in H R - Good luck

    This, however your employer doesn't have to grant your PT return.  If they want you to use your 12 weeks at once all they have to say is no to your suggested schedule.

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  • I am pretty sure intermittent leave does not apply to baby bonding.
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  • I did this after my son was born. To complicate things even more, I was .75 FTE in the months before he was born, so I didn't know if I'd have to prorate or what. I agree with what oos said - it's legally possible to use FMLA in that way but I think it's up to the discretion of the employer as to the flexibility of your work schedule.
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  • I did this with DS1, but it took months to convince my boss to go with it, because my company's policy said intermittant FMLA could not be used for bonding time with a new baby.  I talked her into it eventually and it was a terrific decision.
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