Family Medical Leave Act

questions & answers

Question: I have been approved for FMLA and I have resubmitted forms 3 times already for clarification on how many times I need to be away from my job to tend to my daughter who has renal failure and my job keeps requesting the Dr. to give specific dates and times I need to be away when my daughter condition is unpredictable. We don't know how many times out of the month she will become sick and I have to leave work. Am I being harassed by my employer?

Answer: I have been approved for FMLA and I have resubmitted forms 3 times already for clarification on how many times I need to be away from my job to tend to my daughter who has renal failure and my job keeps requesting the Dr. to give specific dates and times I need to be away when my daughter condition is unpredictable.
We don't know how many times out of the month she will become sick and I have to leave work.  

Issue:    Am I being harassed by my employer?

Rule:    The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take job-protected, unpaid leave for specified family and medical reasons.  Eligible employees are entitled to:
•    Twelve workweeks of leave in any 12-month period for:
 
o    Birth and care of the employee's child, within one year of birth
o    Placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, within one year of the placement
o    Care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition
o    For the employee's own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job
o    Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the U.S. National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation
 
Analysis:    Employees may take FMLA leave intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule (that is, in blocks of time less than the full amount of the entitlement) when medically necessary or when the leave is due to a qualifying exigency. Taking intermittent leave for the placement for adoption or foster care of a child is subject to the employer's approval. Intermittent leave taken for the birth of a child is also subject to the employer's approval.  However, employer approval is not required for intermittent or reduced schedule leave that is medically necessary due to pregnancy, a serious health condition, or the serious illness or injury of a covered service member. Employer approval also is not required when intermittent or reduced schedule leave is necessary due to a qualifying exigency.
When the need for leave is foreseeable, an employee must give the employer at least 30 days-notice, or as much notice as is practicable. When the leave is not foreseeable, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable in the particular circumstances.  An employee must comply with the employer’s usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave, absent unusual circumstances.  In requesting leave an employee must provide sufficient information for the employer to reasonably determine whether the FMLA may apply to the leave request.  When the employee seeks leave for a qualifying reason for which the employer has previously provided the employee FMLA-protected leave, the employee must specifically reference the qualifying reason for the leave or the need for FMLA leave.
An employer may require that a serious health condition, or a serious illness or injury of a covered service member, be supported by a certification from the employee's health care provider, the employee’s family member’s health care provider, or an authorized health care provider of the covered service member. An employer may also require periodic reports of the employee's status and intent to return to work during the leave. Additionally, under certain conditions, an employer may require that an employee who takes FMLA leave for his or her own serious health condition submit a certification from the employee’s health care provider that the employee is able to return to work, a "fitness for duty" certification.
Conclusion:    An employee who returns from FMLA leave is entitled to be restored to the same or an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.  The employee may, but is not entitled to, accrue additional benefits during periods of unpaid FMLA leave.  

QUESTIONS

  • I have been approved for FMLA and I have resubmitted forms 3 times already for clarification on how many times I need to be away from my job to tend to my daughter who has renal failure and my job keeps requesting the Dr. to give specific dates and times I need to be away when my daughter condition is unpredictable. We don't know how many times out of the month she will become sick and I have to leave work. Am I being harassed by my employer?

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