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In the United States a variety of state and federal laws govern various aspects of the employer-employee relationship as well as cover important aspects of the workplace that directly impact employees. The Family and Medical Leave Act, for example, allows certain workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off from work for certain types of medical and family emergencies. A worker may take all 12 weeks at once or may be able to use the leave as intermittent or reduced hour leave. Once question workers often have when leave is taken that way is “ Can an employer change your job if you take intermittent or reduced hour FMLA leave?

For a worker to be eligible for any leave under the FMLA certain eligibility criteria must be met, including:

  • The employee must have been employed with the employer for at least 12 months prior to taking leave.
  • The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the preceding 12 months.
  • The employee must be employed at a worksite where there are at least 75 employees within a 75 mile radius.

Qualifying reasons for taking FMLA leave include:

  • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
  • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
  • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
  • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;”

Assuming that the employer is a covered employer and that the employee is an eligible employee, the employee may ask to use the leave as intermittent or reduced hour leave instead of all at once. Intermittent leave means the employee will take the leave in small amounts as needed, such as taking a couple of days one week and then several more days the following week. Reduced hour leave, as the name implies, means the employee’s regular work hours will be reduced on a regular, but temporary, basis while the emergency exists.

When possible, an employer is required to grant an employee intermittent or reduce hour leave; however, the employer may move the employee to a different position for the duration of the leave time as long as the alternate position provides the same pay and benefits. Because reduced hour and intermittent leave tend to be more disruptive and unpredictable the law allows an employer to transfer an employee if doing so is the best practical solution for both employer and employee.

If you have additional questions or concerns about FMLA leave or employment law in general, contact the experienced Florida employment law attorneys at Celler Legal, P.A. by calling 954-716-8601 to schedule your appointment.