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Part Time Employees and FMLA

Where is the regulation stating that both full time and part time employees both get 12 full weeks of FMLA time off? Assuming that at part time employee is allowed the same amount of time off as a full time employee.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks within a 12-month period of job protected, unpaid leave to care for newborns, newly adopted children and seriously ill family members, or to recover from their own serious illnesses.

An FMLA eligible employee is one who: works for a covered employer; has worked for the employer for at least 12 months; has at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the 12 month period immediately preceding the leave; and works at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles. Many part time employees won’t meet the hours of service threshold.

There are no defined parameters of what constitutes full time versus part time employment. Employers are free to establish their own guidelines. Thus, the FMLA eligibility criteria are not based on full time or part time status but on the number of hours an employee works.

A part time employee taking FMLA leave in a single block of time is entitled to 12 workweeks of leave regardless of the number of hours typically worked in the workweek. This doesn’t mean that a part time employee has the same number of hours of leave entitlement as a full time employee. For example, an employee who works 30 hours per week would be entitled to 12 weeks of leave, which would total 360 hours (30 x 12), not 480 hours (40 x12).

However, when an employee takes leave on an intermittent basis or reduced leave schedule, only the amount of leave actually taken may be counted toward the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement as outlined in the FMLA regulations, 29 CFR 829.205. Additional guidance on leave entitlement and leave calculation usage is provided in the Department of Labor Fact Sheet #28I: Calculation of Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Ac.

Leave entitlement for a part time employee is determined on a proportional basis and an employee’s actual workweek is the basis for determining the employee’s leave entitlement. The FMLA regulations use the example of an employee who normally works 30 hours a week but only works 20 hours a week on a FMLA reduced leave schedule. The employee would use 10 hours of leave each week or the equivalent of one-third of a week of FMLA leave.

If an employee’s schedule varies from week to week to such an extent that an employer is unable to determine how many hours the employee would otherwise have worked but for the taking of FMLA leave, a weekly average of the hours scheduled over the 12 months prior to the beginning of the leave period including any hours for which the employee took leave of any type would be used for calculating the employee’s leave entitlement.


This entry was posted on Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 11:04 am and is filed under
Labor Laws.
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