Intermittent FMLA: Tips to Stop Banging Your Head Against the Wall - Part 3

In the last installment of our Intermittent FMLA series, we’re going to share one final tip to help alleviate the pains that come with managing intermittent leaves.

By now, we’re hoping we’ve gotten you to stop the head vs. wall pounding with the first three tips: Tracking, Certification, & Be Suspicious.

But, if you’re still at your wit’s end managing the seemingly never-ending intermittent leave requests, we’ve saved the best for last.

Tip #4: Determine the best eligibility method & publicize it.

There are four ways to count an ‘FMLA Year':

  1. The calendar year.
  2. Any fixed 12-month “leave year.”
  3. The 12-month period measured forward.
  4. A “rolling” 12-month period.

While there are benefits to each method, it is important to determine which is best for your organization based on factors only you can assess – absence policies, employee demographics, PT/FT status, etc.

Once you’ve determined which of the methods is best, if it’s not the method you currently employ, you first need to provide 60 days notice to your employees announcing the change.

Next, publicize your policy to the organization and be sure that employees understand it. A good rule of thumb is to issue the policy along with a statement of understanding that employees must sign and return to HR. Having a well-documented and well-communicated program that explains how and when eligibility will be determined benefits both the HR department and the employees requesting leave.

Last, enforce the policy in every case. No matter the status of an employee, all FMLA cases should fall under the same policies and procedures. It is important that employees are all treated equally within the parameters of the organization both for morale and to keep the organization safe from potential litigation.

For those cases that seem to go on and on forever, implementing the right method for your organization may finally put an end to ongoing leaves as you’ll be able to can show that they’ve exhausted their leave eligibility. And, it may finally stop you from banging your head against the wall.