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February 11, 2010
FMLA Minimum Increments in a PTO Program

In a 2010 BLR webinar, “Solving PTO Problems: How to Reduce Unscheduled Absences Without Alienating Employees or Violating the Law,” attorney Catherine Moreton Gray discussed minimum increments under the Family and Medical Leave Act in relation to a paid time off program.

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The One-Hour Increment Rule states that employers may track leave in increments of no more than one hour, but may not charge for time spent working. They may have different increments for different purposes.

The Physical Impossibility Rule says that if it is physically impossible for an employee to access the worksite after start time, the entire period the employee is forced to be absent from the worksite is FMLA time. The employee must be permitted to resume work when it is physically possible to do so.

Catherine Moreton Gray is an associate attorney in the Labor and Employment section of Robinson & Cole LLP in Hartford, Conn. She has more than 20 years of experience in human resources and employment law. Contact her at

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