Taking FMLA Leave During the Holidays

The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 FMLA-During-Holidaysweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave, per year.  How this 12 weeks of time off gets counted by employers is a frequent question that we receive.  Figuring this out can be especially confusing if your FMLA leave takes place over the holiday season, where there are usually a number of paid company holidays. So, when trying to calculate your time off when taking FMLA leave during the holidays, this is how it breaks down:

  • If your company pays for 1 day of a company holiday (like Thanksgiving, for example), but you take the other 4 days off during that week as well, the entire week (5 days) would count towards your 12 weeks of FMLA leave.
  • However, if you work at least 1 day that week, your paid company holiday will not count towards your FMLA leave. For example, if you work Monday but then take the rest of the week off (which includes 1 day of a paid company holiday on Thursday), then only Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday will count against your FMLA leave.
  • If your company shuts down for 1 or more weeks (e.g., the week between Christmas and New Year’s), that time will not be counted against your FMLA.

Knowing how paid holidays interact with the FMLA is the best way to ensure you make the most of your FMLA leave. For more information on the FMLA, including who is an “eligible employee” and how the FMLA works with other benefits, visit our website and read our FMLA Quick Guides. And, we hope that you have a happy and healthy holiday season!

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