How should we manage family leave that isn’t covered by the FMLA? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

How should we manage family leave that isn’t covered by the FMLA?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. We hired an employee just a few months ago, so he does not qualify for leave under the FMLA. He has requested intermittent time off to care for a family member. We would like to allow him to take the time off, but we aren’t sure how to handle the situation outside of the FMLA. What is your advice?

A. You are wise to step back and consider how to handle this situation. The first thing you want to do is to make sure that you consult your leave policies or implement a non-FMLA policy if you don’t have one.

Because you are not required to provide leave outside of the FMLA or any applicable state or local law, any policy you implement should afford you broad discretion to accept or deny a request for leave.

You should also be sure to set parameters for the leave. For example, how much leave can be taken and during what time period? Will the employee be required to provide documentation to support the request for leave? If your employee is requesting intermittent leave, how will this time be calculated? How will the leave affect employee benefits? These types of questions should be addressed in your policy.

You should also think not only about the current leave request, but also about future requests you might receive. To avoid discrimination claims, it will be important that you adopt and use a consistent approach to manage non-FMLA leaves.

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Megan L. Anderson is an attorney with Gray Plant Mooty’s Employment Law Practice Group in Minneapolis. Concentrating her practice in employment law counseling and litigation, she ­regularly advises employers and provides training on a variety of employment law issues. Contact her at megan.anderson@gpmlaw.com or (612) 632-3004.

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