FMLA Requirements for Employers

What are the steps my employer should take when I inform them of my need for FMLA leave?

The moment an employee comes into the office of their Manager and says, "My wife is having a baby," "My mother is sick and has to have a complicated surgery," "My son's Coast Guard unit is being deployed and his wife has a newborn," or "I have been diagnosed with cancer," their manager has a legal obligation to figure out if the employee is eligible for FMLA leave. They are also obligated to provide notices,employee requirements and provide other paperwork requirements, manage the employee's time off, and upon return, reinstate the employee according to strict rules and guidelines.

The ten steps to FMLA compliance:

The following steps lay out the process an employer must go through to determine, administer and reinstate an employee who requests, goes on, and returns from leave. This advisor will get the ball rolling by helping you determine the answer to the first three steps.

  1. Is the company covered by the FMLA?
  2. Is the employee covered by the FMLA?
  3. Does the employee need leave for a reason covered by the FMLA?
  4. How much leave is available to the employee?
  5. Did the manager and the employee meet your notice and paperwork requirements?
  6. Did the employer request a certification—and did the employee meet the certification requirements?
  7. Did the employer successfully manage the employee’s leave?
  8. Did the employer follow the rules to successfully reinstating the employee?
  9. Did the employer meet the obligations under any other laws that apply?
  10. Did the employer meet their record keeping requirements?

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