What can I do about my vacation time and FMLA?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What can I do about my vacation time and FMLA?

I was told by my bosses at work that under FMLA I would be paid by them but they wouldn’t use my vacation, However that’s exactly what ended up happening. Now I know that’s likely not worthy of a case but they also had paperwork from the hospital I was in and ended up losing it and it was actually sitting in front of them for 3 weeks, so we basically had to wait and then try to rush to get all this stuff done and worrying and worrying about having money for bills/food/etc. I am just not too confident in this business anymore and almost feel ashamed that they are doing this to an employee. The fact the people didn’t even look at my folder with the hospital papers in it even though it was sitting in front of them makes me wonder how sincere they actually are. This might not be possible for a case but I would really like to know because if so I would like to get out as soon as possible.

Asked on February 13, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately for you, FMLA leave is unpaid--your employer has no obligation to pay you while you are out. Also, FMLA does allow the employer to require the use of your PTO (vacation and sick leave) during your time out of work. Therefore, your employer could refuse to pay you for your leave but could take (and use) your vacation time for it. At least if they do so, you received the vacation days they took as paid, whereas otherwise, you would not have received any pay for any of the leave.

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