Can I get an extension on intermittent FMLA?

Getting approved for intermittent FMLA can feel daunting. That’s because it takes a lot of time and negotiation for workers to get what they need. Once they do, however, they have to provide proof over time that their intermittent leave is still valid.

In some cases, FMLA-related issues may require workers to be gone longer. Because of this, many wonder if it’s possible to extend the time they need off.

It typically depends on how long they’ve been gone already. Also, employers don’t have to extend FMLA leave past the 12-week mark. In California, in addition to the 12 weeks under FMLA/CFRA, depending on the type of disability, an employee may be allowed additional time off as long as the employee can return to work on a finite date and the unpaid leave of absence will not cause undue hardship for the employer.

Creating dialogue with the employer

If workers want to continue their intermittent leave, they should communicate regularly with their employer. When workers are on intermittent leave, employers may send them a certificate to re-verify their needs for benefits. Once workers receive this notice, they have approximately 15 days to submit it. Then, the employer can determine whether the medical leave is still valid. To get a desired outcome, workers may have to:

  • Show that they or their loved one’s condition requires continued intermittent leave.
  • Give an estimate of how much more leave time they need.
  • Provide medical facts about their or their loved one’s condition.
  • A timeline of when they or their loved one’s condition began.

If the employer believes they don’t have everything they need, they may send a request in writing for specific additional information. On the other hand, if the employer is concerned about the validity of a worker’s responses from the certification, they can request a second or third opinion on the matter.

Can my employer reject my request?

It typically depends on the circumstances. If the employer believes the claims made in the certificate are invalid, or the worker doesn’t meet the standard requirements, they may not get approved. If employers reject the request, the worker must receive a notification within five days, stating the reasons for the request denial.


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