Employees and employers alike often are stumped by the complexity of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) process, including both the application for and implementation of its leave provisions.
To clarify the processes associated with FMLA, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a booklet titled “Need Time? The Employee’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act.”
While the booklet is directed primarily to employees, with flowcharts and Q-and-A sections with titles like: “What Can the FMLA do for Me?” and “How Do I Request FMLA Leave?” it also provides employers with a roadmap of the process. For instance, the booklet begins with the question, “Am I Eligible for FMLA Leave?” and a flowchart that walks through clearly worded questions, each requiring a simple yes-or-no response, to allow an individual to understand the requirements for eligibility for FMLA leave.
The section titled “The FMLA Leave Process” is especially valuable to employers, because it is a step-by-step guide that includes both the employer’s obligations and the employee’s responsibilities for successfully going through the leave application process, and addresses the time limits for responding to an employee’s request or certification information.