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.

Jeff Nowak is a Partner at the law firm of Franczek Radelet and serves as co-chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice and was named by Law Bulletin Publishing as one of Illinois’ top “40 Attorneys Under 40” to watch in 2012.  Jeff is widely recognized as one of the nation’s foremost FMLA and ADA experts, regularly counseling clients on compliance with FMLA and ADA regulations, conducting FMLA/ADA audits and training, and successfully litigating FMLA and ADA lawsuits.  Jeff is the author of the firm’s highly regarded FMLA Insights blog, which has been selected for four consecutive years by the ABA Journal as one of the top 100 legal blogs (2011-2014) and was also voted the No. 2 Labor and Employment blog by LexisNexis.

The above article first appeared in FMLA Insights and is reprinted with Jeff’s permission.

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