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FMLA Law: Questions And Answers

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a government law that applies to millions of employees in the United States. Those covered by the law have the right to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually to deal with serious health issues that affect them or their family members. The law protects workers from any negative repercussions due to taking this leave. Here are some key questions and answers about the FMLA law.

What Is an Employee's Notice?  

Employees cannot take advantage of the FMLA without informing their employer. You need to give your employer notice that you require leave under the provision of the act. You can give your employer notice either verbally or in writing. The notice should explain the reason that you need to take the leave. It's also a good idea to supply the employer with any relevant medical certification at this time. Always tell the employer when you need to take the leave and how long you will need to be absent from work.

FMLA requires workers to give the employer at least 30 days' notice for any leave requests that are foreseeable. For example, if you have surgery scheduled in two months, make sure that the notice is given a month in advance. If you can't do this to an unforeseen emergency, give notice as soon as you can.

Can an FMLA Request be Denied?

A crucial aspect of the act is that employees are not obligated to approve every request for FMLA leave. The law only mandates that all eligible workers who ask for leave have the request approved. An employer might say that your condition or the health condition of a family member does not meet the definition of a serious health condition under the provisions of the act and therefore does not qualify you for leave. The employer could also claim you did not provide sufficient medical certification.

 What if a Leave Request Is Denied? 

When an employer denies a worker's request for FMLA leave, the employee needs to get the reason for the denial in writing. It's possible for a request to be denied for indisputable reasons, such as a worker having previously used up all of their FMLA leave time during the previous 12 months. It's also possible for an employer to claim that your health condition or a family member's health condition does not qualify you for leave under the provisions of the FMLA.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully denied FMLA leave, it might be time to seek the advice of an attorney for help with your FMLA law case. They will review your case and tell you the best way to proceed to protect your rights.