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FMLA and PTO for Exempt Employee

We have an exempt employee going on intermittent FMLA. Can we require her to use PTO for the time on FMLA?

The federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. Leave can be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule under certain circumstances.

The FMLA only requires unpaid leave. However, employees may choose to use, or employers may require the employee to use, accrued paid leave to cover some or all of the FMLA leave taken. Employees may choose, or employers may require, the substitution of accrued paid vacation or personal leave for any of the situations covered by FMLA. The substitution of accrued sick or family leave is limited by the employer’s policies governing the use of such leave.

Keep in mind, FMLA regulations require that employees be notified in advance of the requirement to use their PTO and any conditions related to the use of such time.

Usually, exempt employees must receive their full predetermined salary for any workweek during which work is performed. However, an employer is not required to pay an exempt employee his/her full salary for weeks in which he/she takes unpaid leave under the FMLA.

So, if the exempt employee exhausts her PTO accruals, then it’s permissible to pay the employee a proportionate part of their full salary for time actually worked. For example, if the employee normally works 40 hours per week and uses four hours of unpaid leave under the FMLA, 10 percent of the exempt employee’s normal salary may be deducted for that week.


This entry was posted on Thursday, July 13th, 2017 at 10:15 pm and is filed under
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