What are our notice requirements for responding to an employee’s FMLA request?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. We have an employee who just told us she needs leave to care for her son, who is in the hospital. What are our time restraints in responding to the request?

A. You must notify the employee in writing whether the leave will be considered FMLA-qualifying within five business days from the time she provided you with all the information you need to make such determination, absent extenuating circumstances.

If the employee told you how much leave she needs, then the designation notice must also state how many hours, days or weeks will be counted against the employee’s FMLA leave. If the employee doesn’t know how much leave she needs, she can ask you to tell her once every 30 days how much time has been counted against her FMLA entitlement.

If your company has a policy requiring employees to substitute any available paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave, the notice must also explain that policy. You must also let the employee know if you conclude she isn’t eligible for FMLA leave and when her entitlement has been exhausted.

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