late FMLA paperwork

I must be having a "moment" today, or maybe it's just because this hasn't happened to me before employee was absent for a reason that would qualify for FMLA. I gave them the paperwork to complete and return within 15 days. The employee did not return the paperwork within 15 days but gave it to me after the 15 day period. Does the original absence (several weeks ago) count as FMLA? Or does it not since the paperwork was not turned in on time? (It doesn't really matter for computing FMLA time because we never terminate after FMLA but it does matter because we have a point system and if this day would count as FMLA the employee would not incur any attendance points.) Thanks.


  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • We do not approve the leave if the ee does not return the documentation within the fifteen day time period. This starts when the ee receives the paperwork and is calendar days, not scheduled work days. So, for us, it would not be marked as FMLA, the ee would be held to our attendance and punctuality policy.
  • Just a note of caution. If the event is FMLA qualifying and IS subsequently qualified when the certification is received, however late, the time off in question should be counted as FMLA leave, especially if the employee was requesting same.
  • We would count the absence towards FMLA whether or not they returned the paperwork. We would notify them that it counts as FMLA. The job is protected under FMLA whether or not they return the paperwork, so you might as well start the 12 week calendar. If you don't then you probably will find yourself in a pickle - will have to allow 12 weeks from the time they return the paperwork.
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