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Family Medical Leave Act (continued)

To increase the odds that your employer honors your FMLA request and that you enhance your prospects of winning a lawsuit should the law be violated, follow this checklist:
  • All of your communications concerning FMLA leave should be in writing or confirmed this way. For memos handed in, make certain that your copy is stamped "received." FMLA communications be made by mail should be done so by certified, return receipt postage.
  • Briefly state in your memo or letter the nature of the ailment which has caused the need for the FMLA leave. You want your employer to know that the request for leave arises from a serious medical concern.
  • Be sure to mention that the leave period will last no longer than 12 weeks. If the leave is based upon your own medical needs, mention that you will be able to return to the same duties you held prior to taking leave. Employers are not obligated to place workers in positions less demanding than the ones previously held.
  • Request FMLA leave as soon as it's needed. Although FMLA generally requires 30 days advance notice prior to taking leave, this rule is waived for unforeseen circumstances. When unexpected emergencies have occurred, state this in your communication.
  • Employers have the right to request you provide a physician's note documenting the seriousness of the ailment which is leading to missed work. Be certain the physician communicates that the medical situation has left the employee incapable of performing his or her duties for now. Also, persons, taking time off to care for family members may be requested to provide documentation on the seriousness of a relative's illness which led to the taking of FMLA leave.
  • If you sought less than 12 weeks leave and need more time than originally asked for, inform your employer of this in writing - as soon as you realize more time is needed.
  • Keep in contact with your supervisor or the Human Resources Department by communicating when you anticipate returning to work. If conveying this verbally, be sure to promptly confirm this information in writing.

FMLA Lets You Care For:
Yourself, Your Spouse
(including step & foster)
Minor Children (including step & foster)
Adult Children (if incapable of selfcare)
FMLA Excludes Caring For:
Non-married Domestic Partners

*Even if no legal or biological relationship exists, FMLA leave is permissible when one party exercised parental capacity in raising the other.