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Can we make employees use sick leave for FMLA?

by on
in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. Our employees earn paid sick and vacation leave. Can we require them to use their paid leave at the same time they take unpaid FMLA leave? Otherwise, it seems as if they could use up paid leave and still take 12 unpaid weeks off. — J.D., Wisconsin

A.
Yes, you can. The FMLA permits employers to require employees to use their accrued paid vacation leave and (subject to certain restrictions) their sick leave for some or all of their FMLA leave. You can require your employees to substitute accrued paid vacation or personal leave for any FMLA leave.

However, the substitution of accrued sick or family leave is limited by your own policies governing the use of such leave. If you decide to require employees to use their paid leave, you can count the paid leave against the FMLA 12-week entitlement, in effect running the two types of leave concurrently.

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