FMLA Notice Requirements For Employees

FMLA Notice Requirements For Employees

Eligible employees who work for employers that are covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act have rights to take leave from work in order to care for themselves or close family members who are suffering from serious health conditions. Eligible workers are also able to take leave off from work to bond with new children or to spend time with their spouses who are preparing to leave for active military duty. In order to be able to take leave under the act, you must first give notice to your employer in a manner that is reasonable. The notice requirements for taking FMLA leave vary depending on the circumstances, but the act does provide some general guidelines. Your attorney at Swartz Swidler may provide you with guidance about taking FMLA leave.

Foreseable absences and FMLA notice requirements

When an absence is a foreseeable one, FMLA notice requirements mandate that employees give at least 30 days of notice to their employers before the leave. Foreseeable absences include the expected birth of a child or for planned surgeries or other medical treatments. The requirements are somewhat flexible. For instance, if a child is born prematurely or a doctor moves up the date of a planned treatment, the notice may be shorter. The FMLA requires that employees give notice to their employers as soon as it is practicable for expected absences. This requirement also applies to military family leave.

Unforeseeable absences and FMLA notice

Some situations may happen that necessitate taking immediate FMLA leave without the ability to give advance notice. Under federal law, employees must give their employers notice as soon as it is practicable, depending on the circumstances of what has happened.

Examples might include when family members suffer accidents that require your immediate help. They may also include when you have suffered an injury in an accident. You can notify your employer that you must take FMLA leave and let them know that you notified them as soon as you possibly could.

Information required for FMLA notice

Employees who are requesting FMLA leave are not required to cite the statute or explicitly spell out what their rights are under the law. They must give their employers enough information to help the employer to understand that the requested leave is protected by the FMLA. Employees must also inform their employers of any anticipated need for leave and how long the leave is expected to last.

The FMLA guidelines state that sufficient information includes any of the following:

  • Pregnancy
  • A medical condition that keeps you from performing your job functions
  • Overnight hospitalizations
  • Ongoing medical treatment by a health care provider
  • Qualifying emergencies when a covered military member is away on active duty
  • A family member’s condition that prevents him or her from performing the normal activities of daily living
  • The length of the absence
  • Certifications of needed leave for some employers

Call-in procedures and FMLA notice

Employees must follow their employers’ regular procedures for calling in sick to work even if their requested FMLA leave is valid. An exception applies if the circumstances keep the employee from doing so. One example might include being seriously injured in an automobile accident. In other cases, employees who fail to follow their employers’ call-in procedures might be denied their requested leave. If you have questions about your rights under the FMLA, contact the employment law attorneys at Swartz Swidler today.
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