Offer at least 15 days to turn in FMLA paperwork

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

An automotive company granted a welder FMLA leave until Dec. 10. But due to medical complications, she called on Dec. 4 requesting an extension. A company nurse orally approved the extension but asked for certification. The company fired her when she didn't arrive at work on Dec. 11. The employee sued, saying the FMLA allows her 15 days from Dec. 4 to obtain recertification. A jury agreed, awarding her $50,000. (Killian v. Yorozu Automotive Tennessee, 6th Cir.)

Advice: You must give employees at least 15 calendar days to obtain the necessary medical certification to prove their need for FMLA leave. The same rule holds true in recertification cases: Provide at least 15 days from the date the employee asked for the extension. Document your communications.  

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