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Concurrently running FMLA leave, vacation time and short-Term disability

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

Q. Our policy requires an employee out on FMLA leave to run any accrued vacation or sick time concurrently with FMLA leave until that time is used up. (At that point, the FMLA leave becomes unpaid.) We also have a short-term disability (STD) policy that kicks in after seven consecutive days and lasts up to eight weeks. A pregnant employee recently requested 10 weeks of FMLA leave, starting upon the birth of her child. She currently has 3½ weeks of accrued vacation time. Can we require her to use up all of her vacation time once she goes out on maternity leave, even though she is also receiving STD payments?

A. A company cannot require an employee to use up vacation, sick or paid-time-off (PTO) time while at the same time receiving income replacement under an STD or other replacement-income plan.

Therefore, under your situation, you should require the employee to use up vacation time during the first week before the STD starts. For the subsequent eight weeks, your company cannot run vacation time while she receives STD payments. However, at the end of the eight weeks of STD, when she has one week of leave remaining, the company can again require her to use up another week of her vacation. Thus, when she returns to work after the 10 weeks, she will have a week and a half of vacation time left.

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