Employer FMLA Responsibilities

How other laws and company policies come into play for an employee

The FMLA isn't the only law that an employer needs to consider when employees need time off for family or medical reasons. Other federal and state laws might also come into play, depending on the circumstances. In addition, a company's own policies often affect family and medical leave-by, for example, providing paid sick, vacation, or family leave; requiring employees to follow certain procedures before taking time off; or dictating how seniority, benefits, and other issues are handled when an employee is on leave.

This possibility of overlap means two very important things to both managers and employees.

Whenever an employee requests time off pursuant to any law or company policy, the employer must ask themselves whether the FMLA applies. The employee isn't required to explicitly ask for "FMLA leave"; it's their responsibility to determine whether the employee's time off is FMLA-qualified. An employee on worker's compensation leave, temporary disability leave, parental leave, or even vacation might be protected by the FMLA, if the employee meets all of the criteria.

When the FMLA and another law or policy both apply, the employer may have to provide more than the FMLA requires. If other laws or your company's policies give employees additional rights, the employer must honor them as well. The employee is entitled to every protection available, whether it is provided by the FMLA, another law, or the company's policies.

For more on overlapping laws please visit our additional time due to military leave article.

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