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  • bmar-cpht
    Hi. Does anyone have experience or thoughts on why an employer might subtly and repeatedly suggest intermittent leave vs. continuous leave under the FMLA? My wife has recently had to request time off under the FMLA for treatment and recovery from a recent "relapse" of her RRMS. The HR people she is working with keep asking her if she's sure she wouldn't rather have it classified as intermittent vs. continuous. Maybe they have genuine altruistic motives, but I'm a skeptic by nature (especially when it comes to billion dollar multi-national corporations). Am I just being paranoid?
  • BikeMama

    Dear bmar-cpht,

    My MS Neuro sent me to an MS Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor who specializes in employment situations and helping the patient be as protected as possible at work.  If your wife has access to one, I would suggest she get that professional’s input.  In my case, I was advised to file an intermittent FMLA leave because I only occasionally need time off for relapse or flare up. 

    I believe by definition, Continuous FMLA is a single block of time taken off for a valid medical condition.  Intermittent FMLA is when your Dr. indicates you have a condition or reason to periodically miss work, which could be showing up late, leaving early or missing work altogether.  Both require appropriate documentation from the DR. 

    Best of luck to you and warm regards,


  • MS_Navigator_Jen

    Hi bmar-cpht,

    BikeMama is correct about FMLA continuous leave vs. intermittent leave.

    You can take FMLA leave as either a single block of time (for example, three weeks of leave for surgery and recovery) or in multiple, smaller blocks of time if medically necessary (for example, occasional absences due to diabetes). You can also take leave on a part-time basis if medically necessary (for example, if after surgery you are able to return to work only four hours a day or three days a week for a period of time). If you need multiple periods of leave for planned medical treatment such as physical therapy appointments, you must try to schedule the treatment at a time that minimizes the disruption to your employer.

    Whether you need leave continuously or intermittently. (If you need to take leave a little bit at a time, the medical certification should include an estimate of how much time you will need for each absence, how often you will be absent, and information establishing the medical necessity for taking such intermittent leave.)

    This is a link to an Employee Guide to FMLA which can be very helpful.

    I am also including the following link to the department of labor’s website for more information.

    I hope this information is helpful.  

    Best regards,

    MS Navigator Jen


  • audreyfaulkner
    The FMLA: Intermittent vs. Continuous seems a perfect form of content to explore, I have to go and write my paper for me cheap and do all the research on which is better to start with, Thanks again for the share
  • cantstopwontstop
    Hello there,

    I have RRMS and I myself put in for a FMLA for the first time with this condition. I was advised to put in for intermittent because you need it as things come up with relapses, doctors appointments if necessary, hospital stays, etc. She is protecting herself filing for FMLA which is smart. I am getting ready to start treatment so I want it all lined up and ready in case I have bad reactions to my treatment.

    I wish her luck with everything! Hope she figures it out :)
  • jennifer_m
    There are differences between the two.  I myself, when I was first diagnosed a little over 2 years ago, told my HR people about my diagnosis and they were totally cool in helping me get the paperwork done for intermittent leave.  Basically, my neurologist fills out the papers, sends them to the company that handles leave for my store, and it gets renewed every year.  I get so many hours/days in a month for  calling in if my MS is beating me down or if I have a sudden doctor appointment and it doesn't count against me for attendence.  It's pretty good for days when your body just can't rise to the occasion of what work calls for.
    The job isn't trying to sandbag her, it's just an easier way for her to keep working, but not have her attendence record shot to the blazes.  Check it out, and good luck with it.

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