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Intermittent FMLA in Kansas

Posted by Tamara

Employees in Kansas and elsewhere nationwide now have to report in advance if the employee is taking intermittent leave under the FMLA.

Under new regulations, workers must follow their companies’ call-in regulations when they take unscheduled, intermittent leave time off.

Unscheduled, intermittent leave is one of the most contentious aspects of the FMLA, with employers surveyed by the U.S. Labor Department reporting that the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was never intended for that purpose.

The act allows employees to take up to 12 weeks worth of job-protected (although unpaid) leave annually. To qualify, an employee must be tending to a serious personal illness or dealing with pregnancy or childbirth, among other things.

The law, however, does not stipulate a minimum amount of leave that may be taken at a time. It could be all 12 weeks at once, or an hour at a time until 480 hours (the equivalent of 12 weeks) is accumulated.

Many conditions require intermittent leave. As a hypothetical example, employee “Tim” must undergo chemotherapy for his cancer. When he does so, he is only able to work six hours in a day. He is entitled to do so until he has accumulated the 12 weeks worth of leave under the FMLA.

Under the revised regulations, employee “Pablo” now has to report in advance according to company policy when the migraine headaches he suffers require him to take time off. In the past, he could take his time off without notifying his employer.

“Maria” has severe morning sickness, experiencing pregnancy-related vomiting and nausea to the point where it requires her to take time off. She may do so, sporadically, as long as she follows company call-in procedures. Marsha, however, must understand that whatever FMLA time she takes before her childbirth is time she will not be able to take afterward.

Employees such as Maria may be required to present a physician’s statement certifying her condition. Provided she does, she may then continue to take her leave time without a new statement.     


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