Scalia v. State of Alaska, 985 F.3d 742 (9th Cir. 2021)

“Rotational employees” of the State of Alaska work a regular schedule of seven days on, followed by seven days off of work.  Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees may take a total of “12 workweeks of leave.”  The question in this case is whether both the on and off weeks count toward the “12 workweeks of leave.”  The U.S. Secretary of Labor (on behalf of the state employees) alleged that the employees were entitled to 24 weeks of leave because a rotational employee’s off weeks should not be counted as “workweeks of leave” under the statute.  The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Secretary, but the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that a “workweek” does not revolve around an individual employee’s own work schedule, it is instead simply a week-long period designated in advance by the employer, during which the employer is in operation.