5 Method to Calculate FMLA Leave

How to Calculate FMLA Leave?

The federal law employs the Family and Medical Leave Act across the nation that mandates employers having over 50 employees in under a 75-mile radius to give them leave if a family member requires medical attention or care.


The employee, in order to be eligible to avail this leave, must have worked at least 1250 hours in the past 12 months for that particular employer and must be a full-time worker. The employee can take a leave of up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period, a time during which the employer is required to hold the employee’s position. But how exactly do you calculate the 12 month period during which you can avail the FMLA leave?

There is often a lot of questions amongst employees as to how they can calculate their FMLA leave and so here is a little guide about it. We will delve into the further details of the different methods that can be used to calculate FMLA leave:



1# The Calendar Year

Using the calendar year as a reference to calculate your FMLA leave is certainly the simplest method, but it is not always the best option to go with. You could consider the entire year as the period in which you can obtain a 12-week leave.

However, a disadvantage would be that an employee can have their leave end on the last day of one calendar year and then take 12 weeks off from the upcoming calendar year, resulting in consecutive leave that not only has the employee gone for a long period of time, but also leave the employee no opportunity to take further leave for the rest of the entire year.

2# Any Fixed 12 Month Period Leave

This method is somewhat similar to the first method except for the fact that you can begin the year at any point n time. Usually, employees use the date of their employment at the organization or their employment anniversary as the beginning of the fixed 12 month period during which they can obtain a 12 week long FMLA leave.

The problem encountered with the calendar year method also persists in this method as employees can take continuous consecutive leave in consecutive 12 month periods.

3# The Rolling Method

While the rolling method is the most complex out of all of the methods, it is also the best and most popular choice when it comes to calculating FMLA leave. It can also be called the look back method as the 12 month period is measured back from the first day that the leave has been taken.

This method entitles the employee to be able to take a total of up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12 month period. So0 every time the employee requests a leave under the FMLA, backwards counting is done to determine how much of the 12 weeks leave entitlement the employee has already used.

4# Free FMLA Leave Calculator App on Mobile:

Use this attorney-developed form to help record and track leave time for individual employees. It allows you to see at-a-glance how much FMLA leave an employee has left. Click here for a free tip sheet that includes information on calculating the 12-month FMLA period

5# The Year Following the Commencement of the First FMLA Leave



This method sees the employee’s 12 month period beginning from the first day of their first FMLA leave. This means that if an employee were to take their FMLA leave on May 12, 2015, the next 12 month period would begin on May 12, 2016. This prevents employees from taking consecutive leave.

Written by Lora Turner

Lora Turner is an Experienced HR professional worked with the large organizations and holding 15 years of experience dealing with employee benefits. She holds expertise in simplifying the leave for the employee benefits

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