questions & answers
Question: My employer told me I have to be out of work while my FMLA Paperwork is being approved. This is causing me to lose out on money, putting me in a financial bind making it harder to meet my needs. Is my employer correct? Do I have to be out of work while my employer Is reviewing and approving the paperwork?
Answer: FMLA regulations do require that employers provide an employee handbook that explicitly details the process for filing for FMLA. If an employee knows that FMLA will be needed for an extended period of time within the foreseeable future, the employee must provide notice within 30 days of the required date or within a reasonable amount of time. An employer must provide a response to a FMLA request within five days. It is the right of the employer to determine whether or not accrued paid leave (sick or vacation leave) must be used during the period of FMLA leave. It is the employers’ responsibility to:
• (1) Post a notice explaining rights and responsibilities under the FMLA (and may be subject to a civil money penalty of up to $110 for willful failure to post);
• (2) Include information about the FMLA in their employee handbooks or provide information to new employees upon hire;
• (3) When an employee requests FMLA leave or the employer acquires knowledge that leave may be for a FMLA-qualifying reason, provide the employee with notice concerning his or her eligibility for FMLA leave and his or her rights and responsibilities under the FMLA; and
• (4) Notify employees whether leave is designated as FMLA leave and the amount of leave that will be deducted from the employee’s FMLA entitlement.
Furthermore, FMLA will only be used in increments of weeks, days, or hours that the employee typically works. In compliance to the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division it is unlawful for an employer to interfere, restrain, or deny the submission of a request for FMLA. Some conduct that is prohibited includes:
• Refusing to authorize FMLA leave for an eligible employee,
• Discouraging an employee from using FMLA leave,
• Manipulating an employee’s work hours to avoid responsibilities under the FMLA,
• Using an employee’s request for or use of FMLA leave as a negative factor in employment actions, such as hiring, promotions, or disciplinary actions, or,
• Counting FMLA leave under “no fault” attendance policies.
If you feel as if your employer has committed an act of retaliation, discrimination, or interference with your request for FMLA you can contact Human resources, contact the Wage and Hour Division, or a civil suit can be filed. For further information it is recommended that you visit the United States Department of Labor’s website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs77b.htm
My employer told me I have to be out of work while my FMLA Paperwork is being approved. This is causing me to lose out on money, putting me in a financial bind making it harder to meet my needs. Is my employer correct? Do I have to be out of work while my employer Is reviewing and approving the paperwork?
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