Choose the FMLA leave year wisely or you could be allowing double usage
Q: Can an employee be eligible for 12 weeks of parental leave, twice in a row, for the same baby under FMLA?
A: Yes, if the employer is using the calendar or fixed year method of tracking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The calendar method uses January 1 through December 31 as the basis for the 12-month period, while a fixed leave year uses any fixed 12-month period (e.g. an employee’s anniversary date). A downfall of either method is that an employee can be eligible for 12 weeks of leave, twice in a row. So it’s possible that an employee could take 24 weeks of parental leave within 12 months of the baby’s birth if 12 weeks are taken at the end of one leave year and another 12 weeks are taken at the beginning of the next leave year. To avoid this scenario, an employer should consider using a rolling FMLA leave year. To learn more about the pros and cons of each leave year method, review our Legal Guide FMLA: Defining the 12-Month Period for Calculating Leave.