Best Ohio FMLA Lawyer Answer: Does my vacation time and sick leave hours count towards my FMLA eligibility? Can I get medical leave? How long do I have to work for my employer to be entitled to medical leave under the FMLA?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA“) allows a qualified employee to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid lead to care for the serious medical condition of a child, spouse, or their own serious medical condition. As our employment law attorneys have blogged about, in order for an employee to be eligible for FMLA leave, the employee must work 1,250 hours over the past year, and have worked for a full year. (See Top FMLA Lawyer Reply: Am I Eligible For Medical Leave From My Job?). But, what hours do and do not count towards FMLA eligibility requiremes? Vacation hours? Sick time?
In Saulsberry v. Federal Express, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal was posed the question of whether or not hours of service under FMLA includes vacation, sick time or other hours the employee was not working on behalf of the employer. The court concluded that although FMLA does not define the hours that count towards eligibility, but clarifying regulations and the FLSA do require a showing that the hours were actually worked by the employee:
Nonetheless, the FMLA’s implementing regulations clarify that “[t]he determining factor is the number of hours an employee has worked for the employer within the meaning of the FLSA . . . .[A]ny accurate accounting of actual hours worked under FLSA’s principles may be used.” 29 C.F.R. § 825.110(c)(1) (emphasis added). Moreover, this court has cited Plumley v. Southern Container, Inc., 303 F.3d 364, 372 (1st Cir. 2002) for the conclusion that “hours of service,” “include only those hours actually worked in the service and at the gain of the employer.” Mutchler, 485 F.3d at 858 (holding that extra unworked hours for which a hospital employee was compensated based on her willingness to work weekend shifts did not constitute “hours of service” under the FMLA and thus the employee was not eligible for FMLA leave). Thus, to qualify as an “eligible employee” under the FMLA, Saulsberry must prove that he actually worked 1,250 hours.
Employees should be mindful that vacations, sick time or non-working hours do not count towards eligibility. Check with your human resources department to find out whether or not you have sufficient hours to take FMLA leave. If you don’t like what you are being told or simply just don’t understand it, consult with a knowledgeable employment law lawyer.
If you feel that you are being denied leave rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or are being retaliated against for taking medical leave, you should call the right attorney as quickly as possible to schedule a free and confidential consultation. The phone number to contact an Ohio attorney for FMLA help is 866-797-6040. While you focus on your family medical needs, let our FLMA attorneys focus on your medical leave rights.
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