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How should we handle mandatory overtime when determining FMLA leave hours?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. Can an employer deduct or count overtime hours from an employee’s FMLA balance? Our employees work overtime only from October through December. During that time, they’re required to work 12-hour days, seven days a week. We have several employees on both continuous FMLA and intermittent leave, and we’d like to deduct the overtime hours they would have worked from their FMLA allotment. What do you think?

A. Yes, overtime hours not worked may be deducted from an employee’s FMLA entitlement leave under certain circumstances.

The regulations provide that “[i]f an employee would normally be required to work overtime, but is unable to do so because of an FMLA-qualifying reason that limits the employee’s ability to work overtime, the hours which the employee would have been required to work may be counted against the employee’s FMLA entitlement.” 29 C.F.R. § 825.205(c)

Voluntary overtime, however, may not be counted against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement. 

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