What are the Laws for Intermittent FMLA Leave?

Los Angeles FMLA Lawyers on Family Medical Leave Rights

The Family Medical Leave Act is a piece of legislation that we encounter often in our California employment law practice. It offers several legal protections to workers who anticipate or suddenly find themselves needing to temporarily leave their job to care for themselves or their family. Though some people only need to use a portion of their available leave time, others may prefer to use their FMLA leave time in bits and pieces. This is intermittent FMLA leave.

If you suspect that you faced undue disciplinary action or wrongful termination due to your use of the FMLA, then contact a Los Angeles employment law attorney at our firm. We assist employees in requesting FMLA intermittent leave. We follow specific guidelines for using and documenting FMLA intermittent leave. Additionally, we can explain how to avoid or defend against accusations of FMLA intermittent leave abuse.

What is Intermittent FMLA?

The FMLA allows for employees who qualify (learn if you meet the FMLA requirements here) to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for reasons such as:

  • Caring for a child or newborn
  • Caring for an immediate family member with a serious health condition
  • Recovering from the employee’s own serious health condition
  • Caring for an injured family member who served in the military, which may grant up to 26 weeks of unpaid family medical leave

The leave offered by the FMLA (or, for that matter, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act) does not have to be taken all at once. Intermittent FMLA is when an employee uses their 12 weeks of unpaid leave off and on. This is in contrast to continuous family medical leave or working a reduced work schedule. However, an employer may require that any accrued vacation or personal leave is used prior to taking the leave. Additionally, employers may require significant advanced notice to grant the leave.

What is FMLA Certification of Intermittent Leave?

Like with any FMLA claim, you will need to perform your due diligence and have adequate proof of your or your family member’s illness to use FMLA intermittent family leave. For example, an employer may require a certification from your doctor that details your need for FMLA intermittent leave.

The certification for FMLA form is from the Department of Labor. It requires doctors to answer questions about how much intermittent leave the employee will need as well as for how long. For example, if an employee will need to take off one day every two months for treatment, you will need a certification form that spells out this need and its duration. Employers can request recertification of intermittent FMLA medical leave every 30 days.

If an employer refuses to grant FMLA intermittent leave even with the proper certification, or if your employer is interfering with or retaliating against you for taking family and medical leave, you may need to contact a Los Angeles FMLA lawyer for assistance.

FMLA Lawyers Protecting California Employee Rights

Using FMLA leave intermittently is possible. However, you must handle it in the right way to protect yourself from negative repercussions. If you anticipate that you may need to use FMLA leave, you can contact our office for help. An FMLA lawyer can help you make your claim for taking intermittent FMLA. We want to allow you to care for yourself and your family when it counts the most.