Calculating FMLA during the Holidays and Emergency Closures

March 10, 2021 • April Mabry

Calculating FMLA during the Holidays and Emergency Closures

The basic principles of counting time off against an employee’s 12 weeks of family and medical leave (FML) are impacted by holidays and emergency closures.

The amount of FML counted against an employee's 12 week entitlement during holiday breaks and emergency closures depends on whether the leave is taken continuously or intermittently, the length of the holiday or closure, and the employee’s established work schedule.

Leave entitlement

Leave taken intermittently daily or on a reduced schedule is generally counted as days or hours. In these circumstances, holidays and closures are not counted against the employee's FML.

When FML is taken on a continuous basis and counted as workweeks, any week that includes a brief holiday break (e.g., Labor Day and Memorial Day) or closure of less than a week can be counted as a full workweek of leave.

Emergency closures or longer holidays (e.g., winter break, spring break, and summer) when the district closes for one or more calendar weeks, or when the employee would not normally be scheduled to work for one or more weeks do not count against FML entitlement.

Applying this principle to the week of Thanksgiving, the week is not counted as FML provided the district is closed for the entire week. If the district is open for part of the week and the employee is scheduled to work, the break or closure is considered a brief holiday break and the entire week can be counted as a full week of FML.

If the district closes for two full-calendar weeks for the winter break, the weeks are not counted as FML as long as the employee’s regular schedule does not require working during the break. If an employee on FML is normally scheduled to work part of the week (e.g., custodial staff), the entire week could be counted as a week of FML.

Summer break

The employee’s regular work schedule dictates whether weeks during the summer are counted as FML. FML is not counted during the summer break for teachers and other ten-month employees who are not scheduled to work. For 11- and 12-month employees, summer weeks count as FML if the weeks are within the regular work schedule.

Other resources

For more information on FML, see Family and Medical Leave Benefits in the HR Library. Additional information also can be found in the 2016 edition of The Administrator’s Guide to Managing Leaves and Absences, which is available for purchase in the TASB Store.

April Mabry is an assistant director at TASB HR Services. Send April an email at

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Tagged: Benefits, "Employment law", "Family and medical leave", FMLA, Leave