QUESTION: What options do employers have if they can’t accommodate an employee’s request for intermittent leave under the FMLA?
ANSWER: Employees who meet the general eligibility criteria may request intermittent leave under the FMLA. However, it’s important to keep in mind that an employer is not legally obligated to grant intermittent leave if such leave creates an undue hardship on the company. Rather than outright rejection of the employee’s request, the employer should first discuss alternate segments of time or days off that don’t interfere (or interfere less) with the company’s needs. If that is not possible, the employer has the right to transfer the employee temporarily to an alternate position to better accommodate the intermittent absences. This also assumes an alternate position is available and the employee is qualified for that position.
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