Definition Definition

What Is Rolling Year? Calculation of Rolling Year with Example

What is Rolling Year?

Rolling year refers to Under FMLA regulations, a rolling year is defined as 12 months measured backward from the date an employee first uses leave. 

It is a continuous timeframe to determine an employee's eligibility for and entitlement to FMLA leave. This approach ensures that employees are entitled to fresh leave days each year, regardless of when they last utilized their FMLA benefits.

More Thorough Understanding of the Term

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) ensures employees can access protected leave for specific qualifying reasons. One important concept to grasp within the framework of FMLA regulations is the notion of a rolling year.

Under the FMLA, eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave within 12 months for specific reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child, caring for a seriously ill family member, or attending to their serious health condition.

The rolling year concept determines how much leave an employee has available to them at any given point during the year. To calculate the rolling year, employers measure backward from when an employee starts using FMLA leave. 

Following are the steps involved in calculating the FMLA rolling year method:

Step 1: Identify the Initial FMLA Leave Usage Date

The first step in calculating the FMLA rolling year is to identify the date when the employee initially used FMLA leave. This is typically the start date of the first FMLA leave taken by the employee.

Step 2: Measure Backward 12 Months

Once the initial FMLA leave usage date is determined, you need to measure backward 12 months from that date. This backward measurement will establish the beginning of the rolling year.

Step 3: Determine the End of the Rolling Year

After measuring backward 12 months, you will arrive at the end of the rolling year. This date marks the completion of the 12 months from the initial FMLA leave usage date.

Step 4: Calculate the Remaining FMLA Leave Entitlement

To determine an employee's remaining FMLA leave entitlement, consider the amount of leave they have used within the rolling year. Subtract the total FMLA leave days taken by the employee from their maximum 12-week (or 26-week for military caregiver leave) FMLA leaves entitlement.

Step 5: Track Future FMLA Leave Usage

Once the rolling year is established, tracking future FMLA leave usage within that period is crucial. As an employee takes FMLA leave, subtract the number of days utilized from their remaining FMLA leave entitlement within the rolling year.

Step 6: Recalculate at the Start of a New Rolling Year

At the beginning of a new rolling year, the process starts again. Identify the date of the first FMLA leave taken by the employee during the new rolling year, measure backward 12 months, and calculate their new FMLA leave entitlement.

Practical Example

For example, if an employee utilizes two weeks of FMLA leave starting on June 1, 2023, their rolling year would extend from June 1, 2023, to May 31, 2024. This period would serve as the basis for determining their remaining FMLA leave entitlement until the completion of the rolling year.

In this case, that employee will have ten weeks of FMLA leave available till May 31, 2024, since they already took two weeks of FMLA leave on June 1, 2023. 

In Sentences

  • Understanding the rolling year concept is crucial for both employees and employers under FMLA regulations.
  • The FMLA rolling year method determines an employee's eligibility and entitlement to FMLA leave based on a rolling 12-month period.
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