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Wage and Hour Division

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Federal vs. Vermont Family and Medical Leave Laws



Employer Covered

Private Employers of 50 or more Employees in at least 20 weeks of the current or preceding year

Public agencies, including state, local, and Federal Employers

Local education agencies covered under special provisions

Private and public Employers of 10 or more for purposes of parental leave

Private and public Employers of 15 or more for purposes of family leave

No special provision for education agencies

Employees Eligible

Worked for Employer for at least 12 months - which need not be consecutive; worked at least 1,250 hours for Employer during 12 months preceding leave; and employed at Employer worksite with 50 or more Employees or within 75 miles of Employer worksites with a total of 50 or more Employees

Employees worked an average of 30 hours per week for one year

No worksite proviso

Leave Amount

Up to a total of 12 weeks during a 12-month period; however, leave for birth, adoption, foster care, or to care for a parent with a serious health condition must be shared by spouses working for same Employer

12 weeks in a 12-month period for family or parental leave, i.e., serious illness of the Employee or the Employee's child, stepchild or ward of the Employee who lives with the Employee, parent, spouse, or parent of Employee's spouse; birth of the Employee's child or adoption placement.

Additionally, Employees are allowed "short-time family leave," 4 hours in any 30-day period and not to exceed 24 hours in any 12-month period in order to respond to a medical emergency involving the Employee's child or ward who lives with the Employee or the Employee's parent, spouse, or parent-in-law. This leave may also be used for certain preschool or school activities, routine medical and dental appointments, or other professional services related to their well-being.

No provision requiring spouses to share leave

Employee permitted to waive any or all rights by informed, voluntary agreement with Employer

Type of Leave

Unpaid leave for birth, placement of child for adoption or foster care, to provide care for Employee's own parent (including individuals who exercise parental responsibility under state law), child, or spouse with serious health condition, or Employee's own serious health condition

Similar to Federal provision, additionally including care for parents-in-law

Serious Health Condition

Illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition involving incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care in hospital, hospice, or residential medical-care facility; or, continuing treatment by a health care provider involving a period of incapacity: (1) requiring absence of more than 3 consecutive calendar days from work, school, or other activities; (2) due to a chronic or long-term condition for which treatment may be ineffective; (3) absences to receive multiple treatments (including recovery periods) for a condition that if left untreated likely would result in incapacity of more than 3 days; or (4) due to any incapacity related to pregnancy or for prenatal care

An accident, serious illness, disease, or mental condition that 1) poses imminent danger of death, 2) requires inpatient care in a hospital, or 3) requires continuing in-home care under the direction of a physician

Health Care Provider

Doctors of medicine or osteopathy authorized to practice medicine or surgery; podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, optometrists, chiropractors (limited to manual manipulation of spine to correct subluxation shown to exist by x-ray), nurse practitioners, and nurse-midwives, if authorized to practice under State law and consistent with the scope of their authorization; Christian Science practitioners listed with the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, MA; any provider so recognized by the Employer or its group health plan's benefits manager; and any health provider listed above who practices and is authorized to practice in a country other than the United States

No specific provision

Intermittent Leave

Permitted for serious health condition when medically necessary. Not permitted for care of newborn or new placement by adoption or foster care unless Employer agrees

No specific provision, but short-term family leave (discussed above) requires Employees to make reasonable attempt to schedule appointments outside regular work hours and to provide earliest possible notice

Substitution of Paid Leave

Employees may elect or Employers may require accrued paid leave to be substituted in some cases. No limits on substituting paid vacation or personal leave. An Employee may not substitute paid sick, medical, of family leave for any situation not covered by any Employers' leave plan

Employee has option of using accrued sick, vacation, or other paid leave, not to exceed 6 weeks

Reinstatement Rights

Must be restored to same position or one equivalent to it in all benefits and other terms and conditions of employment

Similar to Federal provision

Key Employee Exception

Limited exception for salaried Employees if among highest paid 10%, within 75 miles of worksites, restoration would lead to grievous economic harm to Employer, and other conditions met

Employer not required to offer Employee return to work if Employee performed unique services and hiring a permanent replacement during the leave after giving reasonable notice to the Employee of intent to do so was only alternative available to Employer to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury

Maintenance of Health Benefits During Leave

Health insurance must be continued under same conditions as prior to leave

Employer is to continue all employment benefits; Employee may be required to pay entire cost of benefits during the leave at existing Employee rate of contribution.

Leave Requests

To be made by Employee at least 30 days prior to date leave is to begin where need is known in advance or, where not foreseeable, as soon as practicable.

If due to a planned medical treatment or for intermittent leave, the Employee, subject to health care provider's approval, shall make a reasonable effort to schedule it in a way that does not unduly disrupt Employer's operation

Made by Employee with reasonable notice.

For adoption placement or birth, Employer may not require more than 6 weeks advance notice

Medical Certification May Be Required by Employer for:

Request for leave because of serious health condition

To demonstrate Employee's fitness to return to work from medical leave where Employer has a uniformly applied practice or policy to require such certification

Employer may request certification from a physician for serious illness.

No specific provision relating to Employee certification for return to work

Executive, Administrative, and Professional Employees

Such individuals are entitled to FMLA benefits. However, their use of FMLA leave does not change their status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), i.e., an Employer, does not lose its exemption from the FLSA's minimum wage and overtime requirements.

No specific provision