Does paid sick time and vacation time count against the 12 week FMLA limitation?

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Does paid sick time and vacation time count against the 12 week FMLA limitation?

My father was terminated after 12 weeks of approved medical leave. I have since found out that 6 weeks of that time was paid by his accrued sick time and vacation time. My reading of the FMLA indicates 12 weeks of “unpaid” time. If you have 6 weeks of PTO benefit and use it for medical leave, wouldn’t FMLA then allow an additional 12 weeks of protection at the end of that 6 week leave?

Asked on July 9, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your Dad needs to seek help from an attorney or call the Department of Labor or the State attorney general and discuss the matter in detail just to make sure that all his rights are protected here.  But in answer to your question about sick time being counted against FMLA time,  it is my understanding that employers can require employees to use sick time, vacation time or any other personal time up before using any time provided by the FMLA. This paid leave can be counted as part of the FMLA time period if the employer properly notifies the employee in writing of this decision. What constitutes proper notification remains to be seen.  Please get help.  Good luck. 


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