What Is Intermittent FMLA?

by Sara Melone; Updated September 26, 2017
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The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 is also known as FMLA, and it was first signed into law by Congress in August of 1993. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take leave from work in order to attend to certain qualifying family or medical situations. The law ensures that employees have the right to take time off from work without the risk of losing their position because of a family or medical crisis.

Intermittent Leave

Intermittent Family and Medical Leave Act is virtually the same as traditional FMLA, but it defines a provision of the law that allows employees to take leave on an intermittent basis rather than taking a continuous leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during the calendar year. While some employees may require a period of consecutive weeks or months to contend with an extended illness or family situation, others may require the option of taking family and medical leave in small increments throughout the year.

Qualifying Events

Common qualifying events for the Family and Medical Leave Act include time off for the birth of a new baby or placement of a child for adoption or foster care. FMLA can also be enacted if the employee becomes unable to work due to a health condition, injury or illness that requires surgery or rehabilitation. An employee may also take leave to care for an immediate family member such as a spouse, child or parent who is ill or faces a medical emergency. Other situations and events may qualify with employer approval.

Employee Eligibility

According to the United States Department of Labor, an employee must qualify for FMLA in order to take leave under the provisions of the law. The employer must be an active company with 50 or more employees, and the employee must have 12 months or a minimum of 1,250 hours logged with the employer. New employees or part-time employees may not be eligible for FMLA.

Intermittent FMLA Applications

Intermittent family and medical leave may be used in a variety of circumstances to meet your needs, but you may need to seek approval from your employer. Typically, intermittent leave can be used to take time off each week for medical appointments such as routine dialysis or therapy for yourself or a family member. Intermittent leave can also be applied to reduce your work schedule during a period of illness or injury.

About the Author

Sara Melone is a mother of three and a graduate of UNH. With prior careers in insurance and finance, photography, as well as certifications in fitness and nutrition, Melone draws directly from past experience and varying interests. She contributes with equal passion to birth journals, investment blogs, and self-help websites.

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