For Iowa workers who qualify for job protection and time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), it is not a simple matter of taking the time off without meeting certain requirements. The basics are easily understood. Workers can use FMLA for as much as 12 workweeks off. Those who are serving as a military caregiver can get up to 26 workweeks off. One factor that is frequently misunderstood is how leave usage is calculated. Understanding that is critical to FMLA and taking the time off.
When a worker takes time off through their FMLA rights, the leave they took is all that can be counted against their allotment. For example, if an employee uses FMLA for less than the entire workweek, the amount used will be proportional. There is a mathematical formula for this. Workers who take 10-hours off out of a normal 30-hour workweek will have used one-third of their FMLA.
Workers who are not scheduled to work at a certain time cannot have FMLA calculated as if they were scheduled to work. If the business closes for a time-period while the worker is using FMLA, this too is not added into the calculation of used FMLA. If, however, there is a holiday in a week where the employee is taking the entire week off for FMLA, the whole week will be calculated as using FMLA. Workers who are not taking the full week of FMLA during a holiday will not be assessed the full week.
Variable scheduling could make it difficult to adequately calculate FMLA versus the amount of time the worker was set to work. But, the employer can use a weekly average to come to a determination as to how much FMLA was used. If a worker is required to work overtime and cannot because of FMLA, this can be calculated into the determination.
FMLA is a right that is often problematic for workers as employers can implement different kinds of pressure and tactics to dissuade employees from using it. When there is a disagreement as to how the FMLA leave is calculated, this can cause difficulties for the employee, even when he or she is well within their rights to use the time off and have it calculated accurately. A law firm that grasps all areas of FMLA and FMLA violations can be of assistance to deal with a case.