The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees of covered employers with the right to take up to 12 workweeks of job-protected, unpaid leave in a 12-month period for various qualifying reasons. Employees have the flexibility to take these leaves in blocks or intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule by reducing the time worked in the day or week.
If a holiday falls during a week that an employee takes a full workweek of FMLA leave, the entire week counts as FMLA leave. However, if the employee takes FMLA during the week of Memorial Day on a reduced leave schedule, the holiday does not reduce the amount of the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement unless the employee was required to report to work on the holiday.
The Department of Labor recently clarified this in a letter, stating that an employee’s normal workweek is the basis of their leave entitlement. If a holiday occurs during an employee’s workweek, and the employee works for part of the week and uses FMLA leave for part of the week, the holiday does not reduce the amount of the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement unless the employee was required to report for work on the holiday.
Regarding the “rolling backward” calculation of leave used, each time an employee takes FMLA leave, the remaining leave is the balance of the 12 weeks not used during the immediately preceding 12 months. If an employee takes one day of FMLA leave in a week with a holiday, leave would be used and then replenished on a rolling basis in increments of 1/5th of a workweek. For more information about tracking an employee’s leave balance when taking intermittent FMLA leave during the “rolling” 12-month leave period, please refer to this 2005 FMLA opinion letter.