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Does destination of FMLA leave matter?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Office Management,Payroll Management

Q. We are an Illinois-based company and have an employee whose mother is very sick with cancer and in need of medical care at home. The employee is entitled to FMLA leave. The issue is that the mother lives in Hawaii and he has asked for leave starting next month. I don’t mean to be “cold,” but it sounds like a vacation from our bitter winter. Must we grant the leave for him to go to Hawaii?

A. Yes. If you are a covered employer, the FMLA provides unpaid time off to care for a sick parent if the employee has worked 1,250 hours within the last 12 months and has worked for the employer for a total of one year. It is irrelevant that the parent lives in Hawaii or Paris or any other vacation destination. One caveat: Be consistent with requiring FMLA documentation to avoid discrimination claims.

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