Human Resources, Payroll

How Do Snow Days Affect FMLA Leave

Winter is here and in full swing for 2016! Many employers with 50+ employees (or less in some states) are asking the question:

FMLA Leave and Snow Days: How does this work?

imageThis can be a toughie. While the DOL does not directly address this issue, we can reason on other principles they do offer. Attorney Jeff Nowak published the explanation below on January 22, 2016. Read, consider and remember that this is not legal advice. So, be sure and check it out with your counsel if questions are still lurking about.

“Q. Like many east coast employers preparing for the impending blizzard, we want to know how we calculate FMLA leave if our office is closed due to the weather. I have an employee out on FMLA.  Do I count the snow day against this employee’s 12-week leave entitlement?

A. Although the FMLA rules do not directly address this question, the general rule for counting FMLA leave during a holiday week would likely apply. So, if the employee is out on FMLA for the entire week, then yes, you can count the snow day against the employee’s 12 weeks of FMLA leave. If the employee worked any part of the week, then only the days the employee would actually have been expected to report to work should be counted as FMLA leave.

Note that this rule applies for closures of less than a week. If an employer’s operations are shut down for one or more full weeks (for example, if your roof collapses under the snow and shuts down operations for a few weeks while repairs are made), any days the employee would not be expected to work should not be counted against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement.

East coast friends — hope your snowblowers are working.  Those of us west of you will be enjoying the warm glow of El Nino (assuming you call 30 degrees in Chicago “warm“)!”

So there ya’ go! Be sure and do your research, create a written policy and procedure and train all of your managers and supervisors.

Until Next Time, Be Audit-Secure!

Lisa Smith



Lisa Smith is CEO of Andere Seminars, LLC and Chief Content Developer at BeAuditSecure.com. Follow her on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn, listen to her Small Business Spoonfuls Podcast, and find more from her in Audit-Secure Authority at BeAuditSecure.com.

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