The following series of questions and answers is designed to give a high level overview of the responsibilities companies have if they are required to provide time off under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
What is FMLA?
FMLA provides 12-weeks of unpaid and job-protected leave during any 12-month period due to specific family and medical reasons. Specific reasons outlined by the Department of Labor (DOL) include:
- for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee
- for placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the employee
- to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition
- to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition
Is my company required to offer FMLA?
Is your company a private-sector employer with at least 50 employees (that is, 50 employees within 75 miles of the work location), a public agency, or a school? If you answered yes, then you must provide FMLA to an employee who has been employed for at least 12 months and has worked a minimum of 1250 hours within the 12 months prior to the FMLA request.
What are the employer requirements?
To comply as a company with FMLA responsibilities, employers are required to:
- Post the FMLA poster in the workplace explaining the various rights and responsibilities.
- Include notice of FMLA rights in the employee handbook.
- When an employee requests FMLA leave, the employer must provide a notice outlining the rights and responsibilities of the employee under FMLA.
- Provide notice to the employee designating a leave as FMLA-qualified.
What are the employee requirements?
An employee must provide 30-days’ advance notice for FMLA leave, if possible. If an employee becomes aware of an FMLA leave need less than 30-days from the requirement advance notice should be given as soon as possible and practical.
What help for administration is available?
Tracking leaves of absence (LOAs) and FMLA can be overwhelming for an organization, especially if intermittent and reduced schedules are involved. There are tools and resources available to assist with this. Many organizations are turning to Human Capital Management (HCM) software to help with tracking and notice distributions.
Would you like to learn additional information on FMLA and your responsibilities as an employer?
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