Our team of experts fields real-life everyday questions from HR managers and gives practical answers that can be applied by any HR pro in the same situation. Today’s question: Does the “key-employee” provision of the law allow employers to deny FMLA leave to some employees?
We recently were advised we’re allowed to deny leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to the highest-paid workers in our company. Is that true? If so, under what authority?
You’re probably thinking about the so-called key-employee exception to the FMLA, says litigation expert Denise Drake. But no, you’re not allowed to deny them FMLA leave.
The exception says that key employees who are in the top 10% of the company and who take FMLA leave do not have an automatic guarantee to job restoration. The reason? It’s harder for a company to lose top-level people, hold their jobs open and sustain business until they return.
If any of your top-paid workers request FMLA leave, advise them they are key employees and that you may fill their position before they return. But you can’t deny them leave.