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Supervisor checklist can help ensure FMLA requirements are met

Managers play a critical role in identifying protected leave situations

Posted June 29, 2017

Supervisors are a direct link to employees. As a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) administrator, you might seldom hear from employees, even when they ask for leave. An employee’s supervisor, however, likely will. Yet, it is incumbent upon you to ensure that the FMLA protections are provided to such employees when called for. Therefore, having supervisors know how to deal with potential FMLA situations can go a long way in helping your company meet its requirements.

While no one checklist will fit all situations (some might simply say “Call HR!”), here’s a basic list for you to customize as you see fit per your company policies and procedures.

  • Employee called in or left early; questions asked:
    • How long do you anticipate being out? ________
    • Are you unable to perform the functions of your job? _______
    • Is the absence related to a pregnancy? _______
    • Have you (or a family member) been hospitalized overnight? ________
    • Are you (or a family member) under the continuing care of a health care provider? ________
    • If the absence is for a family member, does the condition render the family member unable to perform daily activities? ______
    • Is the absence due to a military family member’s sudden duty? ________
    • Is the absence due to care of a family military member? _______
  • Employee was informed that the absence might fall under FMLA – that is up to the HR department, and the employee might expect to hear from HR
  • HR was notified of the absence. Information to share with HR includes the following:
    • The time the employee was absent was tracked and shared with HR, if necessary
    • Information from the employee regarding any delay or early return to work
    • Restrictions the employee might have upon returning to work
    • Any change in employee contact information
    • Information regarding an employee’s activities contradicting the reason for the leave
  • Employee’s email and telephone should be forwarded if the employee is otherwise unable to do so
  • Employee’s calendar should be blocked to reflect the absences
  • Employee’s internal customers should be notified of the absence, but not the reason for the absence
  • Employee’s time card should reflect appropriate entry type (FMLA/PTO, etc.), if employee is otherwise unable to input time card information

This article was written by Darlene Clabault of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

FMLA for Supervisors TrainingJ. J. Keller's FMLA for Supervisors Training gives supervisors and managers critical Family and Medical Leave Act information.


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