To get intermittent leave, your doctor or your loved one’s doctor must certify the need for the leave, and must estimate how much leave is needed and how often.   For instance, if you suffer from chronic back pain that flares up with activity or overuse, your doctor might certify you to be off work up to 3 times a week for up to 8 hours a day.. It is up to the employee to help the doctor estimate how much time off the employee will need.

Many of our FMLA cases at Croskery Law Offices involve intermittent FMLA leave. This is because often managers and supervisors are not well trained in FMLA rights and responsibilities.   The manager gets upset when the employee is
allowed to take off work for short absences such as a day or an afternoon,
often without much if any notice. This means that the manager is required to cover for the absent employee or find other employees who have to perform the absent employee’s job duties.  It is not uncommon for the (untrained) manager to get upset with the employee for being permitted to “come and go” from the workplace under the protection of the FMLA. Employees sense the hostility and hear remarks such as, “you are letting the team down,” or “this is putting an unfair burden on your co-workers.” Sometimes this causes the manager to start nit picking the employee’s work.   If the manager’s hostility towards the absences is allowed to fester for weeks, it can result in an unlawful termination of the employee for a pretextual reason, i.e., a stated reason that is not the real reason, which is the FMLA absences.

If you have a chronic condition that requires you to be off work from time to time on an unpredictable basis, you may need the protection of the FMLA to stay
employed. This means that you should work for an employer who has 50 or more employees in a 75 mile radius, and you should work full time and do your best to stay employed for a year to become eligible.  

If you have any questions about this, contact Melinda Knisley at the office number, (513) 232-LAWS (5297), or on her direct dial line, (513) 231-7926.