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All in a Day's Work® - Insights on Labor & Employment Law

WFMLA reminder: a new leave year began on January 1

© Alexander Kharchenko | Dreamstime.comAn often forgotten difference between the federal and Wisconsin family and medical leave laws is that, while under federal law the leave year may be calculated a number of ways, leave covered by the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA) must be calculated on a calendar-year basis. This means that in Wisconsin all eligible employees’ WFMLA leave banks renewed on January 1.

Despite the requirement that WFMLA leave be administered on a calendar-year basis, employers in Wisconsin may administer federal family and medical leave using a non-calendar-year method. Federal law allows the following methods for determining the leave year:

  1. The calendar year.
  2. Any fixed 12-month period (e.g., fiscal year).
  3. The 12-month period measured forward from the date an employee’s first qualifying leave begins.
  4. A “rolling” 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any qualifying leave.

The beginning of a new calendar year is an opportune time for employers to evaluate current leave practices as well as leave usage by employees, and, to do so, it is advisable to work with qualified counsel regarding any family and medical leave matters, including leave administration, policy review and training.


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