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May we recover insurance premiums paid while employee was on FMLA leave?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. I have an employee who is taking leave under the FMLA. The company is continuing to pay the same portion of her health insurance premiums that we paid while she was working. If the worker fails to return to work when her protected leave expires, may the company recover the premium payments made during her leave period?

The answer depends on the reason the employee does not return to work.

Under the FMLA, an employer may not recapture premiums paid for maintaining an employee’s group health plan coverage during periods of unpaid leave if the worker fails to return to work because of his or her own serious health condition, the serious health condition of an immediate family member for whom he or she has to care, or for other circumstances beyond the worker’s control.

Note that the FMLA considers an employee to have returned to work for purposes of premium recovery if he or she has been back at work for at least 30 calendar days. Therefore, if an employee resigns after working for that period, the employer will not be able to recover the premiums.

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