Family And Medical Leave Act #3 | McKenzieHR

Family And Medical Leave Act #3

QUESTION: We have a person on FMLA who has almost enough time to cover the complete 12 weeks.  While he has been out the payroll department has him accruing sick/vacation time.  In the FMLA policy as I read it, it states, “Although benefits will not accrue during any leave, benefits accrued before leave will not be affected except that the Company may require that any accrued paid vacation, paid sick leave, etc…. “  From what I read is it correct to say that a person on FMLA (even though they have a large sick/vacation balance) and using sick/vacation time should not accrue sick/vacation while on FMLA?  Thanks for your answer.

FROM:  DIANE
INDUSTRY:   COMMUNITY BASED NON-PROFIT

RESPONSE:

Diane,

This is sometimes a very confusing thing to understand because FMLA is an unpaid period of time.  I always like to say there are three buckets:

1) FMLA;
2) Vacation; and
3) Sick or other paid time off benefits.

The FMLA is always unpaid.  However, you, as the company, can require employees to use sick and vacation time while on FMLA and your policy should state this.  The paid time used by the employee on FMLA still falls under your regular sick and vacation policy. The FMLA will run concurrently with any paid time off benefits the employee receives.

If you normally allow employees to accrue time off benefits while on vacation, then they should accrue the same amount of time off while receiving Paid time off benefits while on FMLA.  If the employee you are questioning had 12 weeks of leave available and you continue to accrue time for an employee on two weeks of vacation to go skiing in the Alps, then you must also accrue time when an employee is on FMLA.  (I am making the assumption that you do not stop the time off accrual when someone is out sick for a week or on vacation.)

If this is the case, then the only time that vacation or sick time accrual should not be given to the employee is after the vacation and sick time is exhausted while on unpaid FMLA.

I hope this helps, Thanks for Asking Bob.

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