FMLA Notification

How have you gone about notifying employees that their leave is designated as FMLA. When employees are gone from work for several weeks due to an emergency illness it can be uncomfortible to notify them that their leave has been designated as FMLA. If it's a serious illness or accident family members are often offended when you try to approach the employee with the intent of completing paperwork. Yet as an employer I want to ensure that I have my ducks in order.


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  • If the employee is out for several weeks with a serious illness as you have outlined,(assuming this was unexpected) the company needs to extend their concern and well wishes first,then go on to explain the FMLA is their protection as well as a requirement of law. Usually the employee will thank you for looking out for them when they believe you are acting in their best interest. If you are getting negative responses, look at managements approach, it should be positive and caring with keeping the company's best interest in mind as well. You might also consider future employee training so that employees know you care about them and will come to HR for advice regarding their leaves.

  • I have often had to designate FMLA leave after late notification from the department. I send a letter stating I recently learned of their condition, explaining they are eligible and entitled to up to 12 weeks of job protected leave which runs concurrently with their paid leave and look forward to their return. Attached is the Health Care Provider Certification form, the County's policy and the employee's current leave banks. The letter points to the job protection benefits of FMLA. When I started this process in 1995, there were some complaints but as employee's see it applied consistently it has been accepted.

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