Photo by Claire Nakkachi on Unsplash


Naturally, you must take necessary steps to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in order to protect your company and your employees.

If you’re a covered employer that means posting the required FMLA in a conspicuous place at your business.

The definition of a covered employer:

A private-sector employer is covered by the FMLA if it employs 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or previous calendar year. An employee is considered to be employed each working day of the calendar week if the employee works any part of the week. The workweeks do not have to be consecutive.

In addition to posting the FMLA notice, there are guidelines required of your business if one of your employees might be eligible for FMLA. And workers must notify you with adequate information either casually or informally.

Once they inform you, here are tips regarding your responsibilities:

First tip

You have five days to give the employees an FMLA eligibility notice and indicate whether or not they’re eligible.

If they aren’t eligible, you have to explain why they’re not. It’s best to create a paper trail. So whatever you conclude do it in writing.

Second tip

Give your employees a second written notice that explains their responsibilities and rights. It’s preferred that you use the Department of Labor (DOL) forms.

Third tip

Within five days of the employees’ request for leave or their notice that they believe they’re eligible, you must tell them in writing if the time is for FMLA purposes.

You must also indicate whether you’re substituting paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave. In responding, indicate any fitness for duty. Again, it’s best to always use the DOL forms.

Fourth tip

Stay current. The DOL has been using more simplified forms but always be aware that more FMLA changes might be forthcoming. So frequently review the government site.

DOL asks questions

Finally, the agency has requested employers give their opinions of multiple issues.

Agency questions include: What is your definition of a serious health or chronic condition? What are your thoughts about intermittent leave as well as reduced-schedule leave? Do you understand your obligations and rights?

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

HR Tips to Manage Suspicious FMLA Leave – One most-challenging issues facing employers is the fishy use of leave by employees under protection of the Family and Medical Leave Act. The FMLA has been costly to businesses. It has led to productivity issues and disruptions in scheduling and expenses. Here’s what you can do.

If it’s Necessary to Fire Employee on FMLA, Here’s How … – Despite what might you have been told, you can discharge an employee while on leave for cause under the Family and Medical Leave Act. If you feel you must terminate such an employee, here are the guidelines.

If You Think You Have COVID-19 Workers, What You Can Do – If you think you have employees with coronavirus in your workplace, there are best practices for you to follow.

Avoid HR Documentation Mistakes that Cause Legal Issues – You must anticipate possible adverse ramifications – how a jury or judge even months later would view your paperwork if the situation becomes a legal issue. Here’s how.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements – You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Isn’t keeping track of FMLA for each qualifying employee a challenge?”


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.