Family medical Leave act
As a manager/supervisor, you may need to be involved in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) process for your employees.
Follow these tips as you comply with your employee’s FMLA rights:
- Refer employees looking for information to FMLA.
- Be informed and ready to explain to employees the union contracts and MSU policy about paid time off, such as sick, family sick, vacation, or personal quotas. These run concurrently with FMLA leave. If you are not confident in your understanding, refer employees to MSU Human Resources (HR).
- Do not assume someone is eligible for FMLA leave because they have a serious health condition. MSU HR will make the eligibility determination.
- Notify MSU HR whenever you become aware that an employee is requesting time off for their own medical condition or to care for a spouse, parent, or dependent child with a medical condition.
- Wait for the notification from MSU HR of when an eligible employee is applying for FMLA, as well as the decision regarding the approval/denial of the request. Note: The medical certification process can be time-consuming but is a key way to curb leave abuse, particularly with intermittent leave.
- Reference the approval letter from HR regarding the amount of leave time the employee may need. Track employees’ actual leave, and let HR know if the amounts do not match. Recertification can be requested if necessary. This may help curb FMLA abuse.
- Remind employees they must still follow any unit/department call in procedure if they need to call in.
- Remember the reasons underlying an FMLA leave are often sensitive, and so be mindful of confidentiality.
- Do not require employees on FMLA leave to work, including answering emails and phone calls. However, you can still speak with employees to ask about possible return to work dates, to show human compassion, etc.
- Know the FMLA guarantees employees will be restored to the same or equivalent position at the end of FMLA leave.
- Ensure no one is retaliated against for exercising their FMLA rights.
- Refer employees to the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities for accommodations if they are unable to perform certain aspects or tasks of their job. Additional leave may be required by the Americans with Disabilities Act or state law.