Intermittent FMLA Leave

Employees are entitled to intermittent unpaid leave through the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), yet disputes may arise over these rights.

An FMLA leave attorney can help you assert your rights to a reduced work schedule if they have been violated.

The Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson can help workers in the Allen, Plano, and Frisco, TX, areas with their FMLA leave disputes.

What Is the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

Employment attorney Dan A. Atkerson explains the basics of the FMLA. With more than 38 years in legal practice, Mr. Atkerson understands national workplace statutes and the nuances of Texas employment law. If you have any questions about the FMLA, intermittent leave, or your rights and protections as a worker, Mr. Atkerson and his team can provide the answers you're looking for.

What Is Intermittent FMLA Leave?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave a year, depending on the circumstances. However, the law also allows employees to use their 12 weeks of unpaid absence intermittently. This is sometimes referred to as reduced schedule leave.

By taking intermittent leave, eligible employees can use up their 12 weeks of leave in separate blocks of time instead of taking all 12 weeks of leave consecutively. These blocks of time may be as short as a few hours during a work day in order to attend medical appointments or meet other obligations. In other words, the law will allow for your absence in order to tend to protected needs, whether that absence occurs in one uninterrupted block of time or smaller increments.


Employer/Employee Eligibility

To qualify for intermittent leave, you must meet the following FMLA guidelines for employee eligibility:

  • You work at a company with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius
  • You have been an employee at the company for at least 12 months (the 12 months do not have to be consecutive)
  • You have logged at least 1,250 hours of work during those 12 months prior to taking leave

Reasons for Taking Leave

If you meet the above requirements, you are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a year-long period. However, you must have a qualifying reason for taking this leave, such as:

  • A serious health condition
  • Caring for an immediate relative with a serious health condition
  • The birth of a child
  • Caring for a newborn or newly placed foster or adoptive child

What Counts As a Serious Health Condition?


According to FMLA guidelines, a serious health condition is any physical or mental illness, injury, or impairment that:

  • Requires inpatient hospital care
  • Is considered a chronic serious health condition
  • Causes incapacity that is permanent or long-term
  • Results in incapacity for more than three days with continuing medical care
  • Requires multiple treatments

You can also claim FMLA leave if you are incapacitated due to pregnancy or prenatal care.

Have Your FMLA Rights Been Violated? Request a Consultation with an Employment Attorney

The FMLA guarantees eligible employees up to 12 weeks of leave to bond with a child, undergo medical treatment, or care for a sick family member. If you believe that your employer has unjustly denied your FMLA leave or has made unreasonable requests of you while addressing a medical condition or child care needs, the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson can help.

Serving clients in the greater Allen, Plano, and Frisco, TX, areas, our team will take time to listen to you and your needs. We offer personal consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. That means you do not have to pay any legal fees unless we successfully resolve your case.

If you would like more information about FMLA leave disputes, contact our law firm online. You can also reach our law firm by phone.

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(214) 383-3606

Attorney Dan A. Atkerson

With more than three decades in practice, attorney Dan A. Atkerson can help you with FMLA leave disputes.

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I had an issue where I found out some troubling information Friday evening. By Monday morning, not only was I feeling much better about the situation, but a plan was in motion. Dan was very responsive to my situation and walked me through the process each and every step of the way. I would absolutely recommend Dan. He gets results, he's very strategic and understands the law. He's empathetic and professional all at the same time. Appreciate you, Dan!

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Dan was very kind, informative and responded immediately to address any and all questions that I had. His process was very quick and detailed as well. I would recommend him to anyone. Thank you Dan… I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you!

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Limitations to Intermittent FMLA Leave

Generally, you can take your intermittent FMLA leave in whatever increments your circumstance requires. For some, this may be as little as an hour or two a week. However, there are certain limitations on the amount of leave one can take:
The total time you take cannot exceed 12 weeks within a 12-month period
You must notify your employer 30 days prior to starting your leave, or as soon as reasonably possible
You must work a total of 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months to continue to qualify for leave
Your employer can require you to use paid vacation and/or sick days concurrently with FMLA leave
According to an annual national survey, employers consider tracking intermittent leave to be one of the most difficult aspects of adhering to the FMLA
*According to the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC)
Even though tracking intermittent family and medical leave poses a number of challenges, employers must be diligent in properly noting and logging FMLA absences.

FMLA Leave and Reasonable Employer Requests

Doctor holding Medical Document

Medical Certification

If you would like to exercise your right to intermittent leave, your employer may require medical certification. This means that your physician must provide written proof of your diagnosis and treatment needs. According to FMLA guidelines, you have 15 days to provide this certification after requesting leave.

Getting a Second Opinion

If there is reason to doubt the initial medical certification, your employer can require that you get a second opinion about your condition. In this case, your employer may specify the medical facility or physician you see but must also cover the cost. However, your employer cannot require certification for every doctor’s visit or period of treatment for which you need leave.

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Dan was the only lawyer who seemed to have time for me and knew that I had a case. He was personable, helpful, and most importantly he knew how to win without setting foot in a court room. TaQuanyia Stallworth

Learn More About FMLA Leave Contact the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Using FMLA leave to reduce your work schedule gives you time to bond with a child, focus on your health, or meet the medical needs of a family member. If your employer denies your request for intermittent leave or otherwise fails to respect your rights under FMLA, the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson can help. Mr. Atkerson has practiced employment law for nearly four decades, and you won't have to pay any legal fees unless your matter is successfully resolved. We serve Allen, Plano, Frisco, TX, and communities throughout the state. Contact our law offices online. You can also schedule a consultation by phone.

Call Our Office Today

(214) 383-3606

Work During Intermittent Leave Calculating FMLA Leave Used


While on intermittent leave, the hours an employee works cannot be counted against their FMLA entitlement. For example, if an employee normally works 40 hours a week and now works just 16 hours a week on reduced schedule leave, they have only used 24 hours of their FMLA leave time that week.

Reasons to Speak with an FMLA Lawyer

Employer Denies Intermittent Leave Request

An employer may not deny your request for FMLA leave if you have a protected reason to take it.

Failure to Abide by an Employee's Reduced Schedule

If you are working on a reduced schedule to meet your family or medical leave obligations, your employer must respect the changes to your work hours.

Retaliation for Taking Reduced Schedule Leave

Any unwarranted reduction in pay, changes in work duties, or disciplinary actions that stem from your reduced work schedule may be evidence of retaliation for taking intermittent leave.

Termination Over Intermittent Leave

Being laid off while on intermittent leave may be a form of retaliation, or it could be a failure on your employer's part to note how your family or medical absences affect normal job performance.

Lack of Job Protection Returning from FMLA Leave

When returning from FMLA leave, an employee is entitled to the same or equivalent job they had prior to taking leave in terms of pay, benefits, shift hours, and location.
Sad worker with boss standing behind him
If disputes arise while you are on intermittent FMLA leave or after you've returned from FMLA leave, the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson can provide the legal counsel you need. We will hold your employer accountable if they fail to observe federal protections and Texas state labor laws.

Clients Recommend Dan Atkerson

My case was pretty complex and Dan came to my rescue and assured me that we would win my case and we did. I appreciate his knowledge and abilities to help in this matter and would refer him to anyone needing help in Employment law. Latoya Savala
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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Dan A. Atkerson has been protecting the rights of North Texas employees for over nearly four decades. He is affiliated with several prestigious legal organizations, including: 

  • The State Bar of Texas
  • The Dallas Bar Association
  • The United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
  • Texas Supreme Court and all Texas trial and appellate courts
  • Texas federal courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas

Through aggressive, knowledgeable representation, he has helped clients all over the state reach significant verdicts and settlements. To schedule a consultation at our law firm, request an appointment online or call us at (214) 383-3606.

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