Those four-letter federal employment statutes — FMLA and FLSA — can be a real pain in the neck, amirite?

Today, let’s focus on a major employer pitfall: intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The FMLA regulations define intermittently leave this way:

“FMLA leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule under certain circumstances. Intermittent leave is FMLA leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason. A reduced leave schedule is a leave schedule that reduces an employee’s usual number of working hours per workweek, or hours per workday. A reduced leave schedule is a change in the employee’s schedule for a period of time, normally from full-time to part-time.”

Now, an employer can require that an employee taking FMLA provide a medical certification. And if the employee seeks intermittent leave for planned medical treatment, the certification should state the dates on which such treatment is expected to be given and the duration of such treatment.

Importantly, the law is clear that if an employee submits a complete and sufficient certification signed by the health care provider, the employer may not request additional information from the health care provider. And an employer may request recertification no more often than every 30 days and only in connection with an absence by the employee unless an exception applies.

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