The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL) has issued an opinion letter clarifying how employers should calculate an employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitlement when leave is taken during a week that includes a holiday.
- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division clarified how employers should calculate FMLA leave entitlement when taken during a week with a holiday.
- When employees take leave in less than a full week, the DOL’s guidance requires employers to calculate it proportionally based on the employee’s actual workweek, and holidays within that week can impact the calculation.
- Employers should review their FMLA leave calculation practices to ensure compliance with the DOL’s guidance on including holidays in the calculation.
According to the FMLA regulations, when an employee takes a full week of FMLA leave, the entire week is considered FMLA leave, regardless of whether a holiday falls within that week or if the employee was expected to work on the holiday. However, for employees taking leave in increments of less than one week, the DOL advises employers to calculate the leave as a proportion of the employee’s actual workweek, and the presence of a holiday within that week may impact the calculation.
For instance, if an employee typically works 40 hours in a workweek and takes 8 hours of FMLA leave, the employee would use 1/5 of a week of FMLA. Yet, when a paid holiday falls within the workweek, the denominator for calculating FMLA leave changes based on whether the employee was scheduled to work on the holiday. If the employee was expected to work on the holiday, the holiday is counted as a regular workday in the denominator (e.g., 5 days for a Monday to Friday schedule). Conversely, if the holiday falls on a day the employee was not scheduled to work, it is not included in the calculation, resulting in a denominator of 4 days, and the employee using 1/4 of a week of FMLA.