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Establishing the 12-Month Measure for FMLA Leave

The FMLA guarantees eligible employees the ability to take unpaid family or medical leave for up to 12 weeks every 12 months.  Employers with FMLA-eligible employees have choices, however, as to how they wish to set these 12-month periods.  The FMLA allows employers to choose any one of the following methods for determining the "12-month period" in which eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of qualifying FMLA leave:

  1. The calendar year.
  2. Any fixed 12-month "leave year," such as a fiscal year, a year required by State law, or a year starting on an employee's "anniversary" date.
  3. The 12-month period measured forward from the date any employee's first FMLA leave begins.
  4. A "rolling" 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave.

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