How are employers limited when workers need scheduled leave?

What are the limitations on employers when working with employees to schedule leave? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. 

Answer by Kara Govro, Senior HR Law Analyst, in her session: 

FFCRA leave is protected by law, so if an employee asks for it, and meets the requirements (according to their own written request), the employer must grant the leave, with a few limited exceptions. The current DOL guidance indicates that employers could deny intermittent leave, except in the Southern District of New York (SDNY). However, since the guidance that came out August 28 says that employees can take a few days per week if their kids are doing partial in-person school, we can assume that employers may now only limit intermittent leave if an employee is asking for a partial day rather than a partial week.

For instance, if an employee requests partial-day intermittent leave (outside of SDNY), such as an hour off in the morning and another at lunchtime, the employer could deny that, and instead require that the employee take full days off. In most cases, however, employers will be better able to maintain productivity by allowing partial day leave rather than losing employees for a full day (or week, or 12 weeks) at a time.

We wouldn’t be shocked to see the DOL change their guidance on this, and require that employers everywhere grant intermittent partial-day leave if requested, but until that time, partial-day intermittent leave is at the discretion of the employer (except in SDNY).


This article was originally published on September 23, 2020 on