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Unscheduled FMLA in North Carolina

I always thought that medical leave under FMLA had to be full days scheduled in advance. Don’t employees have to give me fair warning that they will be using FMLA?

You may not like this answer. But, employees are entitled to use FMLA leave even for partial days. Someone who has a health problem that occurs sporadically, like migraines or severe morning sickness, can use the leave intermittently and without advanced notice. Of course, your employees are expected to let you know in advance if they have that information, but you can’t always predict a migraine or nausea.

If you don’t like it when the FMLA is used this way, you are just one of many employers who feel this way. The U.S. Labor Department has said that intermittent leave time is the chief concern among employers throughout the country. Some believe that the law was not originally intended to include sporadic leave, and expect that the legislation will be rewritten to correct that.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act law applies to all states that do not have their own maternity leave or disability leave laws.

North Carolina is one of about 39 that have not enacted their own laws. So the FMLA applies, and there is nothing within the FMLA to prevent a worker from taking the 12 annual weeks of job-protected and unpaid leave in segments shorter than a day at a time.

All employees are entitled to the time if they have worked for the employers 1,250 hours or more during a 12-month period. The unpaid leave limit under FMLA is 12 weeks, and covers various health and personal reasons. You must also keep up her company health insurance during this period, as long as the employee pays the premiums.

FMLA is applicable to any workers in businesses with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. Among the conditions covered by the FMLA are serious health conditions in the employee, or the birth of a child.

Some say the law wasn’t intended to cover this kind of leave. Many employers have concerns about the option to take FMLA leave intermittently. The U.S. Labor Department actually considers it the number one concern among employers, and there’s a possibility that the law will be rewritten in the future.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2007 at 11:41 am and is filed under
Attendance Management, Benefits, Compensation, Hiring and Staffing, Human Resources Management, Labor Laws, Termination, Workplace Management.
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