For an employee to be eligible to take leave under the FMLA, the employee must have been employed for at least 12 months, and have at least 1,250 “hours of service” during the previous 12-month period.
Hours of service means hours actually worked by the employee. It does not mean hours paid. Thus, paid non-working time—such vacations, holidays, furloughs, sick leave, or other time-off (paid or otherwise)—does not count for purposes of calculating one’s FMLA eligibility.
This case illustrates the importance of accurate time records. Whatever time tracking and payroll system you use, it must the ability to differentiate between time paid and time worked. It saved Fed Ex from an FMLA claim in Saulsberry, and it could likely save you too if an employee is on the 1,250-hour FMLA bubble.