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FMLA: Calculating for a Holiday Week

A new opinion letter from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) clarifies how employers are supposed to calculate leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when it's taken during a week that includes a holiday. The holiday does not count against an employee's FMLA entitlement if the employee works part of that week, the May 30 opinion letter explains.

The FMLA guarantees employees unpaid, job-protected leave for 12 workweeks in a 12-month period.

Workers can take FMLA leave intermittently, working shorter days or shorter weeks. It doesn't have to be continuous leave. For an employee who normally works 40-hour weeks, intermittent FMLA leave could be up to 480 hours per year.

If a holiday falls during a week when an employee takes a full workweek of FMLA leave, then a full week is counted as FMLA leave. However, if a holiday falls during a week when an employee works some hours and takes some FMLA leave, the holiday is not counted as FMLA leave, unless the employee was normally scheduled and expected to work on that holiday.

Read the article:
Be Careful When Calculating FMLA Leave for a Week with a Holiday
SHRM via Managed Pay | Jun 2023

Read the Opinion Letter
DOL | May 2023

Can an employer count holidays against an employee's FMLA leave?

Law Firm Articles

As an initial matter, it's critical to understand that the term "workweek," as defined under the FMLA, is the employee's normal schedule (hours/days per week) prior to the start of FMLA leave.  As the DOL notes in one of its older opinion letters, the normal schedule "is the controlling factor for determining how much leave an employee is entitled to use when taking FMLA leave intermittently or on a reduced workweek schedule for a serious health condition."
DOL Opinion Letter Sheds Light on Calculating FMLA Leave During a Holiday Week
Littler | Jun 2023

The DOL stated that the guidance falls in line with its belief that in situations where less than a full work week of FMLA is taken, the employee's FMLA should only be subtracted by the amount of leave actually taken.
DOL Clarifies How Holidays Impact Partial Weeks Taken Under FMLA
Stevens & Lee | Jun 2023

According to the WHD, under the FMLA, the employee's usual workweek is the appropriate basis for determining the employee's FMLA leave entitlement.
Wage and Hour Division Clarifies Whether Holidays Count Against an Employee's FMLA Leave Entitlement and Determination of the Amount of Leave Taken
Smith Gambrell | Jun 2023

For Purchase

FMLA Essentials Manual + Update Service
FMLA Manager: Online Leave Tracker


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