How to Ask for FMLA Leave

How to Ask for FMLA Leave

February, 2020

Employers and employees alike often wonder how workers should ask for FMLA leave. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, many employees have the right to request up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if they are suffering from a serious medical condition, or to care for a family member who is suffering from a serious medical condition. While employees have this right, there are many procedural rules to follow, and people often wonder how an employee should ask for this leave. Below are some guidelines to use if you need to take this type of leave.

Mentioning the FMLA

Employees often think that they have to specifically mention the FMLA by name when requesting leave under the Act. However, this is not the case. Federal regulations make no mention of requiring employees to specify exactly what protections they have when asking for leave.  

It is the responsibility of the employer to know what protections and rights their employees have, and workers should not have to explain them. Employees also do not have to explain their rights or the conditions under which they are taking leave.  

Although employees do not have to state that they are requesting leave under the FMLA, workers should still provide their employer with enough information that the employer can reasonably determine that the employee is taking FMLA leave. If the employer asks questions to verify that the employee is taking leave under the FMLA, the employee must also answer those questions. If employees refuse to answer these questions, it may result in the employee’s rightful leave being denied.

Employees must refer to the FMLA if they are taking leave again for a condition that they have already taken time off for. In these instances, employees should always state why they need FMLA leave, or the reason that qualifies them for FMLA leave.

Offering Proper Paperwork can Help

Although employees are not required to mention the FMLA as the reason they are requesting leave, offering the necessary paperwork when requesting it can help. This will automatically alert the employer to the fact that the employee is requesting protected leave. Although this is not a requirement, it can prevent issues from coming up, such as a denial for the leave request. Although employees can fight it when employers wrongfully deny them FMLA leave, it is a long process and can be prevented if proper paperwork is provided.

When You Need Help With FMLA Leave, Call Our Ohio Employment Lawyers

When employees have the right to take FMLA leave, they should be able to do so without fear of being denied or retaliated against by their employer. If an employer has violated your rights, our Columbus employment lawyers at Marshall & Forman, LLC can help make it right. We know your rights, and we also know how to ensure that employers uphold them and give you the leave you qualify for. If an employer has retaliated against you for taking leave, we can also help you pursue a lawsuit for any compensation you deserve. Call us today to learn more about how we can help with your case.