Sometimes, figuring out FMLA eligibility is pretty cut-and-dry. But that doesn’t mean employers and employees never disagree on who can take leave. Here’s one example of a dispute about what hours should be included.
An employee sued her employer after she was denied FMLA leave because she failed to meet the 1,250-hour requirement.
She claimed she worked more than enough hours. Her calculation included “bonus hours” she was paid for working weekend shifts. For example, if she picked up a Saturday shift, the company gave her 10 extra hours of pay for that week.
The court didn’t buy it. The judge said the “hours worked” only includes time an employee is “required to give” an employer. Extra pay, even if it’s measured in hours, doesn’t make a difference.
The FMLA’s 1,250-hour requirement only includes time that counts as “hours worked” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) — in other words, only hours in which work is done, that must be paid for and that count toward overtime calculations.
So, for example, the 1,250 hours would not include:
- paid or unpaid vacation and sick time
- paid holidays, or
- previous periods of FMLA leave.
Cite: Mutchler v. Dunlap Memorial Hosp.