The ’s notice provision requires employees, to be eligible for , to let their employers know that they suffer from a serious health condition. Merely telling a supervisor “I’m sick” doesn’t cross to the threshold of a legitimate .
But it’s important for supervisors to know that employees, on the other hand, don’t need to say something as explicit as “I need FMLA leave because I have X illness.”
It’s your responsibility to judge whether the person’s condition rises to the “serious” level, based on the information given.
As a new case shows, an employee’s series of comments about his worsening illness or upcoming medical tests can be considered FMLA notice. Teach supervisors to pay attention to such cues, and let employees know how to request FMLA leave.
Recent case: David Burnett worked as a janitor for the Habitat Company, readying apartments for rental. After about 13 years on the job, Burnett began telling his supervisor that he was having some medical difficulties.
First, Burnett said he had a weak bladder. Then, he said he had a doctor’s appointment to discuss the problem. Over the next four months, Burnett revealed that a prostate test showed the need for a biopsy. He also told his supervisor that if he had prostate cancer, he’d consider suicide.
As Burnett’s medical problem escalated, his supervisor began finding . The company fired Burnett right after his biopsy, but before his diagnosis. He sued, alleging interference with the right to take FMLA leave.
The company’s defense: Burnett never said he had a serious health condition or needed FMLA leave, so it was under no obligation to let him know how to take FMLA leave.
Not so, said the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Although Burnett didn’t look sick, he clearly let his supervisor know he was having medical problems. That triggered the company’s obligation to let him know how to take FMLA leave. (Burnett v. LFW d.b.a. The Habitat Company, No. 06-1013, 7th Cir., 2006)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/2294/listen-for-hints-about-illness-they-may-be-fmla-notice "
- Can we set different sick policies for different offices?
- You can alter job description for worker on FMLA leave
- If employee can't return from FMLA leave, it's not interference to terminate
- Employee working while on FMLA leave? Check certification
- Employee complained about discrimination? That doesn't excuse shoddy or dangerous work