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Is FMLA leave optional when employee has adequate sick leave to cover her absence?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. We have an employee who is going on eight weeks’ leave for a qualifying serious health condition. She isn’t requesting to use FMLA leave because she has enough paid sick leave. Can employees choose not to use FMLA leave even though they qualify?

A. You can require that the employee use FMLA leave so the time she is out will count against her 12-week FMLA entitlement. Since you are on notice that she has a serious health condition, you should designate the leave as FMLA and provide her with the appropriate paperwork to process the leave.

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