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Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) -- Frequently Asked Questions

Does An Employer Have To Pay Bonuses To An Employee Who Has Been On FMLA Leave?

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The FMLA requires that employees be restored to the same or an equivalent position when returning to work after FMLA leave. If you were eligible for a bonus before taking FMLA leave, you will be eligible for the bonus upon returning to work. The FMLA leave may not be counted against you.

  • For example, if an employer offers a perfect attendance bonus, and you have not missed any work other than your FMLA leave, you will remain eligible for the bonus upon returning from FMLA leave.

On the other hand, the FMLA does not require that employees on FMLA leave be allowed to accrue benefits or seniority.

  • For example, an employee on FMLA leave might not have sufficient sales to qualify for a bonus. The employer is not required to make any special accommodation for that employee because of FMLA. The employer must, of course, treat an employee who has used FMLA leave at least as well as other employees on paid and unpaid leave (as appropriate).

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