Ques­tion: We give year-end bonus­es based on atten­dance, and employ­ees with a cer­tain num­ber of absences are dis­qual­i­fied. If an employ­ee took FMLA leave, can we count those absences against them and with­hold the atten­dance bonus?

Answer: Yes, if you apply the rubric used to qual­i­fy employ­ees for the bonus con­sis­tent­ly across all “equiv­a­lent leave sta­tus” rea­sons for absence. For exam­ple, if you count days off for vaca­tion, paid time off, jury duty, or mil­i­tary leave as absences for the pur­pose of deter­min­ing who receives the bonus, you can also count days tak­en under Fam­i­ly and Med­ical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.

The same answer applies to bonus­es earned for oth­er goals that may be impact­ed by FMLA leave, such as sales tar­gets or total num­bers of hours worked.

If a bonus or raise is not tied to a spe­cif­ic con­di­tion, but rather is a cost of liv­ing or annu­al increase pro­vid­ed by all employ­ees, an employ­ee may not be dis­qual­i­fied on the basis of hav­ing tak­en FMLA leave.


Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on ThinkHR.com