According to the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) and Spring Consulting Group LLC, 57% of employers say that intermittent leave is the biggest leave-related challenge their company experiences. However, intermittent leave actually accounts for only 25% of FMLA-related leave.
There are some steps an employer can take to reduce unnecessary intermittent leave:
- Require medical certification - this could include the date the condition began and its expected duration, facts about the condition, and limitations it poses on work performance.
- Request recertifications - the employer can ask for recertifications as long as they are at reasonable intervals or if they have a legitimate reason to question the intermittent leave.
- Require use of paid time off - employees tend to be more conservative if the leave is also coming out of their paid leave bank.
- Enforce notice requirements - employers can require employees to follow customary notification requirements for requesting leave. That way, with the exception of extenuating circumstances, if an employee does not follow the policies, the employer has the right to delay or deny the FMLA request.
- Collaborate on scheduling - some employees may use intermittent leave to attend regularly scheduled medical appointments. Employers have the right to ask employees to schedule these appointments at convenient times, when possible.
If you have any questions regarding intermittent FMLA leave, please contact a qualified attorney to discuss your legal rights.
*Adapted from Maureen Minehan, Five Steps to Reducing Unnecessary Intermittent FMLA Leave, 31 No. 11 Emp. Alert NL 3 (2014)
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