Family and Medical Leave Act
January 12, 2010
[A]n eligible employee shall be entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following: … (Because of the employee’s own serious health condition) (or) In order to care for the spouse, or a son or daughter, or parent, of the employee, if such spouse, son, daughter, or parent has a serious health condition. …
(B) continuing treatment by a health care provider.”
The employee must give 30 days notice of the leave request, unless the date of the treatment under the circumstances does not allow that, in which case the employee must give as much notice “as practicable.”
The request does not have to be written, although in many cases the employer will have forms for the employee to fill out. The request does not have to specify it is for “FMLA,” it is sufficient if the information provided makes the employer aware that the condition probably fits within FMLA. An employer’s internal procedural requirements cannot be more strict than required by FMLA.
The employee does not have to provide medical documentation unless it is requested by the employer, in which case the employee clearly must comply with that request. It is the employer’s duty to followup with any request for additional documentation. Clearly, an FMLA request can be made, and leave taken, without necessarily providing any medical documentation at that point. Documentation can take place later.
The twelve weeks of FMLA leave to which the employee is entitled may be taken intermittently.
Further, the leave can be taken in the form of a reduced work schedule.