hi, is FMLA mandatory? what I mean is , can I take Vacation time if I have it and not use FMLA ??? my employer says it is mandatory
1 Answer from Attorneys
Basically mandatory. The employer is allowed (and obligated) to count all qualifying leave against the FMLA 480 hour allotment, even if you use vacation or other paid leave. The only way this would not happen is if you simply ask for vacation pursuant to your vacation policy and never mention that it is for FMLA-type reasons. If you did so and the leave request was denied, you would then have to show that it is FMLA-qualifying in order to get the leave.
Although employees often like to "save" their FMLA leave, it is good to use it because you are protected from discipline and generally guaranteed of returning to your job. Of course, FMLA leave is otherwise unpaid unless you have sick or vacation leave to use with it, so saving extra "leave" (FMLA is really a protection, not a type of leave) does not help most employees very much if it is unpaid.
You can find the FMLA regulations at DOL.GOV.
Jeffrey L. Sheldon
The Sheldon Law Firm
CAVEAT: This is only general advice based on limited facts and knowledge of the situation. It thus can not be relied upon as legal advice nor is the author responsible or liable for any actions by the parties involved in the matter.
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