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What is intermittent leave?

Intermittent leave is when an employee takes time off from work that is sporadic in nature. This could occur for many different reasons. An employee could have a medical condition that flares up occasionally and that makes the employee unable to work at these times. Or an employee might have to miss work for periodic medical treatments. One of the most common examples of intermittent leave is time off for maternity issues. Expectant mothers often need to have multiple checkups and doctor appointments prior to giving birth.

In some situations, the employer would have to agree to grant intermittent leave requests. In other situations, the right to this type of leave is supported by state or federal law as long as the employee meets certain conditions and files the appropriate documentation.


Learn more about intermittent leave

When do I need to be aware of intermittent leave?

An employee who has a recurring medical condition such as migraine headaches should be aware of the company policy for this type of leave. In some cases, the employee will be protected under provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act; this allows the employee to take a certain amount of time off each year for approved reasons. If the employee works for a smaller company, he or she might have to receive permission for the leave.

What is important to know about intermittent leave?

Irregular leave requests for sickness or family obligations take on many forms. The type of company the employee works for also plays a role, as smaller companies might not be legally required to accommodate certain leave requests. There are some other important items you should know about intermittent leave:

  • Many employees will be covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • Many employers are offering more flexible terms for intermittent leave.
  • In some situations, an employee might not be able to use intermittent leave.
  • This type of leave is recognized in many countries throughout the world.