When is 1,250 not 1,250? Hours Worked Versus Hours Paid for FMLA Eligibility
Whatever time tracking and payroll system you use, it must have the ability to differentiate between time paid and time worked. It could likely save you from an FMLA claim if an employee is on the 1,250-hour bubble.
For an employee to be eligible to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the employee must have been employed for at least 12 months, and have at least 1,250 “hours of service” during the previous 12-month period.
What does this rule look like in practice? Saulsberry v. Federal Express (6th Cir. 1/10/14) provides an example. In support of his claim that Fed Ex wrongfully denied leave under the FMLA, Pernell Saulsberry relied upon a document entitled, “Federal Express Corporation Employee Monthly Trend Report.” That report listed his “HR PAID TOT” for the previous 12 months as”1257.29.” The same report, however, listed Saulsberry’s “HR WKD TOT” as “1109.29.” At deposition, Saulsberry admitted that the “Paid Tot” included paid time off during which he performed no services for Fed Ex, and the “Wkd Tot” accurately reflected the number of hours he had actually worked. Thus, because he worked less than the required 1,250 hours, the 6th Circuit concluded that Fed Ex legally denied his request for FMLA leave.