One of our employment law attorneys was recently asked this question. Under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the answer is typically yes. If an employer lets other employees schedule time off in one hour increments to come in late or leave early, then the employer must do the same for FMLA leave.
A statement released from Department of Labor (“DOL”) early this month directly explains this point:
FMLA LEAVE ENTITLEMENT AND INCREMENTS OF LEAVE
An employee is entitled to up to 12 workweeks of FMLA leave for most qualifying reasons or up to 26 workweeks of FMLA leave for military caregiver leave. The employee’s actual workweek is the basis for determining the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement. An employee does not accrue FMLA leave at any particular hourly rate.
FMLA leave may be taken in periods of whole weeks, single days, hours, and in some cases even less than an hour. The employer must allow employees to use FMLA leave in the smallest increment of time the employer allows for the use of other forms of leave, as long as it is no more than one hour. If an employer uses different increments for different types of leave (for example, accounting for sick leave in 15 minute increments and vacation leave in one day increments), the employer must allow FMLA leave to be used in the smallest increment used for any other type of leave. Similarly, if an employer allows for use of leave in different increments during specific times of the day (for example, requiring a one hour increment of leave at the start of the shift and using 15 minutes increments for leave at other times), the employer may use the same increment for FMLA leave at those specific times of the day. An employer may always allow FMLA leave in shorter increments than used for other forms of leave but no work may be performed during any period of time counted as FMLA leave.
If you even think that your employment rights have been violated or that you might need an employment lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm is dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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