We are expecting the birth of our first child in February. My wife is a teacher and, looking at the calendar, very close to the end of the 12 weeks she would take off under FMLA is a scheduled vacation. If she is on leave going in to the vacation, she doesn't get paid for that vacation (it doesn't count against FMLA, but it is still unpaid even though the school is closed) - if she is back to work, of course, she does get paid. Therefore it may be advantageous for her to return to work slightly before the full 12 weeks in order to be paid for a week and a half that she will actually have off. What is the minimum amount of time she would have to be back at work to be considered off of leave and eligible for the paid vacation? I don't know if this actually falls under FMLA, if there may be state regulations or if it may be dependent upon workplace policy. FWIW, she did ask HR but the response doesn't sit right with me. The HR rep is the type who normally responds very quickly to email inquiries. With this one, a few days went by and my wife had to send a follow-up email. The rep said to come down to her office to explain and then told my wife 2-3 weeks before the vacation. This indicates to me that HR a) didn't want to put anything in writing and b) probably doesn't have a written policy to support what was said. The way I see it, when she returns to work she is expected to be treated as any other employee, with the same entitlements. In this case, the school requires teachers to work the day prior to and the day following a vacation in order to be paid for it. Therefore, IMO if she works a full day (or hell, even 2) before the vacation she should be paid for it as any other employee. This is a private school, no teacher's union. The rule that says the one day before/one day after a scheduled vacation is in the employee policy guide.