Now that our Columbus FMLA lawyers have posted helpful information and resources to help determine whether you are eligible for FMLA leave in Ohio, lets discuss the difference between intermittent FMLA leave and continuous FMLA leave.
There is also a third type of leave available to you- reduced schedule FMLA leave. As an Ohio Employment Attorney, I am frequently asked what type of FMLA leave is available and whether it can be broken down into smaller incremenets. This article will answer those questions.
Both intermittent FMLA leave and continuous FMLA leave are available to you. Continuous FMLA leave is FMLA leave that is taken and not broken up by periods of work. Continuous FMLA leave is typically when an employee is absent for three consecutive business days or longer and has been treated by a doctor. For example, a new mother can take 8 weeks off from work to care for her newborn baby. This 8 week period is considered continuous FMLA leave. Leave to care for a sick family member or leave to receive treatment for your own serious illness may be continuous as well.
Intermittent FMLA leave is an option for employees who want to use FMLA leave in a more flexible manner. Intermittent leave involves the use of days or hours, broken down into increments, to care for a family member with a serious illness or to receive treatment for your own serious illness. An example of intermittent leave is an employee who suffers from a condition that causes “flare-ups” or periods of time where the employee is in pain and cannot attend work. Another example is an employee who is being treated for cancer and must attend chemotherapy or radiation appointments. You may use intermittent FMLA leave to attend these appointments.
FMLA leave is available to you during these flare-up periods and allows you to receive treatment for your serious medical condition without having to take continuous, unnecessary FMLA leave. Intermittent FMLA leave may be taken in very small increments. Only intermittent leave that is actually taken by the employee is counted against the 12-week time period allotted to you. If you do not use interrmittent FMLA leave, it is not counted against that 12-week period.
Lastly, it is also possible to use reduced schedule FMLA leave to care for a family member, reduce stress or for your own serious medical condition, under certain circumstances. Reduced schedule leave allows you to reduce the amount of hours you work per day or per week. The amount of hours or days will then count toward the 12-week allowance allotted to you under the FMLA. If at all possible, it is important to work with your employer and notify them of the need for leave as soon as you become aware of it. For scheduled procedures, like chemptherapy or surgery, this is relatively easy to do. In a scenario where you suffer from flare-ups, this may not be feasbile so it is important to inform the employer as soon as you become aware of the need for leave.
If you have questions about what type of FMLA leave to take, please contact us. It is unlawful for your employer to harass or retaliate against you for taking FMLA leave. If your employer has been hostile toward you or expresses dissatisfaction with your absences that are covered by FMLA, give us a call- one of our Columbus FMLA lawyers can help.