Receive FMLA notice? Don’t assume ineligibility

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in FMLA Guidelines,HR Management,Human Resources

You need a clear policy on handling employees who call in sick. That helps ensure you don’t miss a potential FMLA request.

Remember, employees don’t have to ask for FMLA leave by name. They just need to give you enough information to trigger your responsibility to ask for more details.

Recent case: Cynthia Deluca worked for Simmons Manufacturing as a seamstress. She took one FMLA leave related to a job injury. Shortly after she returned, she called in again, explaining that her doctor said she needed to be off.

HR sent her an FMLA form, but fired her two days later, before she had a chance to fill out the form. She sued.

The court said the company interfered with Deluca’s right to FMLA leave. It should have waited for the form before concluding whether she was eligible. (Deluca v. Simmons, No. 3:07-CV-2143, MD PA, 2009) 

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