Can an employer change my full-time status at work to part-time due to an Intermittent LOA?

I have an intermittent leave of absence since I suffer from chronic migraines and I have been attempting to get them under control for a couple of years. I work at a major retail company that uses a third party for any leave of absence. I was approached not to long ago by one of the managers and she told me that once my LOA is expired, if my hours go anywhere below 34 a week, I will automatically be moved to part-time. Can they do that to my full-time status?

Asked on October 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that once you depelte you 12 weeks under the FMLA, you have no right to further absences, at least absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary. The fact is that at this point, your company can set the conditions of your continued employment much as it sess fit. Accordingly, it can reduce your hours or even teminate you "at will". 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You are only entitled to a total of 12 weeks per year under the Family and Medical Leave Act for LOA, intermittent or otherwise. Once you have used more than the equivalent of 12 weeks, you do not have legally protected leave rights, so if you miss hours after that, your employer could reduce your hours--or even terminate you--if they want. Once you use up FMLA, your employer is not required to let you keep missing work. There is no right to employment at all, let alone full-time status; once unprotected by law (i.e. by the FMLA), the employer can do whatever it likes to your employment.

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