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What is Intermittent FMLA Leave?


The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a United States labor law enacted in 1993. FMLA is the right for eligible employees to take unpaid leave for specific medical and family reasons. Because of FMLA, these leaves are job-protected and ensure the person has continued group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as workers who are not on leave.

When people consider FMLA, they usually think of it over weeks at a time. But you can take unpaid leave for smaller increments of time, such as hours or days. While FMLA covers 12 weeks of leave, you are not required to take those days or weeks off continuously. Even if your employer claims you must. The FMLA is extremely complicated and many employers do not fully understand how it impacts employees. If you have any questions regarding FMLA leave, discuss the particulars of the FMLA guidelines with Columbus employment attorneys.

How Does an Employee Request Intermittent Leave?

The thing to remember about intermittent FMLA leave is that notice of FMLA is preferable. Ideally, notice of the need for intermittent or continuous FMLA leave will be given to an employer as early as possible. ¬†While there are times this is not possible, such as in cases of unexpected medical issues, it is best to always submit requests and discuss the situation with your supervisor well in advance whenever possible. What’s the difference between continuous and intermittent?

There should be clear procedures in place for requesting Family Medical Leave. Most businesses have these guidelines compiled for employees to review. If the business where you are employed does not have these rules listed, request them right away. As an employee, you need to know how FMLA requests are handled.

If you have any questions about FMLA or feel you have not been treated fairly at work, it is essential you discuss the situation with Columbus FMLA attorneys in order to understand your rights.

Can I Be Denied an FMLA Request?

In some cases, it is possible for an employer to turn down an intermittent leave request. Your request could be denied for the following reasons:

  • If all of the leave required under FMLA has already been used.
  • If an employee is not able to provide adequate documentation to prove leave is needed.

For the former, FMLA leave amounts are within a 12-month period. If all 12 weeks of time have been used, you may not be able to take any more time off. For the later, it is helpful to have documents from doctors to prove the leave is necessary. There is likely a FMLA form that will need to be completed by a medical professional. If your employer makes the FMLA process unnecessarily difficult or otherwise has barriers to taking the FMLA leave you need, it is possible that you may have a claim for FMLA interference or FMLA retaliation.

The Columbus employment attorneys at Coffman Legal LLC are strong and committed advocates for all Ohio workers. Contact our Ohio FMLA attorneys today to further discuss your rights to continuous or intermittent FMLA leave. Our experienced FMLA lawyers will inform you of your rights and can guide you through the process of securing the medical leave you require and any compensation that you deserve. Call 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation.


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