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How much advance notice can we demand when an employee wants to take FMLA leave?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. How much notice should an employee give an employer before taking FMLA leave?

A. It depends on whether the leave is foreseeable or not. The FMLA regulations provide that, when an employee’s need for leave is foreseeable based on a birth, adoption or planned medical treatment for a serious health condition, the employee must provide at least 30 days’ notice of his or her intention to take leave.

If providing 30 days’ notice isn’t possible, the employee must provide notice to the employer “as soon as practicable” under the facts and circumstances of each case.

Notice of a foreseeable leave is generally found practicable if it is provided either on the day the employee became aware of the need for FMLA leave or the next business day.

The “as soon as practicable” standard also applies when an employee’s need for leave is unforeseeable. Notice of unforeseeable leave is found practicable if it is provided within the time prescribed by the employer’s usual and customary notice requirements applicable to such leave.

Keep in mind that specific notice provisions apply when dealing with military service members and their families.

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