Entering Employee Leave Requests
Purpose of the Form:
The Employee Leave Request form is used to provide a way of gathering information necessary to determine whether an employee’s requested leave is covered by the FMLA without violating the FMLA and other privacy laws. It also provides a way to ensure that FMLA requests are always well-documented.
This form should be given to an employee as soon as he or she requests leave that may be FMLA-qualifying. Though not required by law, it is a good idea to have your employees complete an Employee Leave Request form to make sure you are able to gather the information necessary to determine whether the leave is covered under FMLA, to give your employees required FMLA-related information as soon as the request is made, and to make sure a clear written record is created documenting the request.
--NOTE-- To understand how Gradience FMLA Tracker calculates FMLA Leave visit this ARTICLE.
--IMPORTANT-- Please review Form Do’s and Don’ts and other important information below:
- First be sure your basic FMLA defaults have been set up in Global Preferences. Click Settings > Global Preferences > FMLA and make all of the entries for your organization.
- When finished, click Save > OK > Close.
- Close out of the program and reopen it for the entries to take effect.
- Under Employee Select, click on an employee name.
- On the left, click Forms > Employee Leave Request. Each of the screens that follow will have a convenient Smart Tips button at the top of the screen that you can use as you go.
- When the Leave Request Detail screen opens, the Leave Request button will be depressed in the upper left. Make all of your entries and click Next.
- When the first page of the Eligibility Check opens, make all of your entries and click Next.
- The second page of the Eligibility Check will open. Under Checklist, make your selection(s) and click Check. A message will appear below the checklist area indicating whether this employee qualifies for FMLA leave.
--NOTE-- The contact information and the poster location will appear only in the fields provided if this information was entered under FMLA in Global Preferences earlier.
- Click Next. The Notice of Rights & Responsibilities screen will open.
- Scroll through to complete all of your entries and, when finished, click Next.
- When the Notice of Designation screen opens, scroll through to make of your entries. When finished, click Document Dates.
- When the Document Dates screen opens, make your entries and click Save.
Leave Request Form Do’s and Don’ts
- DO make sure that employees requesting leave provide enough information to determine whether the FMLA applies.
- DO NOT deny an employee’s request for FMLA leave because the employee does not mention FMLA in the leave request.
- DO make sure to give employees requesting leave this form to complete if you determine that FMLA might apply.
- DO NOT deny an employee’s request for FMLA leave because the employee does not give you specific medical information when making the initial leave request.
- DO make sure to treat the completed form as a medical record, and maintain it separately from the employee’s personnel file, in locked cabinets with only designated persons having access.
- DO NOT deny an employee’s request for FMLA leave if you have any doubts as to whether the reason for the leave is an FMLA-qualifying reason. Designate the leave as FMLA initially and inquire further. You can always withdraw the designation if your inquiry does not support FMLA coverage.
- DO ask your employees for more information when they tell you they need time off for what may be an FMLA-qualifying reason.
- DO NOT deny male employees leave to care for a newborn child. The right to take leave under the FMLA applies equally to male and female employees. A father, as well as a mother, may take family leave for the birth, placement for adoption or foster care of a child.
- DO make sure that employees requesting “foreseeable” FMLA leave give at least 30 days’ notice of the need for leave.
- DO NOT forget to train your managers and supervisors. Make sure supervisors and managers understand FMLA basics, and are proactive in reporting potential FMLA-qualifying situations to the company’s human resources manager and/or benefits administrator.
The FMLA applies to all:
- Employers who employed 50 or more employees (including part-time employees) for each working day during each of 20 or more workweeks (not necessarily consecutive) in the current or preceding calendar year; and
- Public employers, including state, local, and federal agencies, and local education agencies (schools) – regardless of workforce size.
For your employees to be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee must:
- Be employed by a covered employer;
- Have been employed by the employer for at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutive);
- Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period; and
- Work at a location in the United States where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.
BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR FMLA COVERAGE
You must grant an eligible employee up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
- The birth and care of the employee’s newborn child
- The placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care
- The care of an immediate family member (defined by the FMLA as “child, parent or spouse,” although state and local laws may have broader definitions) with a serious health condition
- The employee’s own serious health condition
- When the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Regular Armed Forces (including the National Guard and Reserves) to a foreign country.
- The FMLA also provides eligible employees with up to 26 work weeks of job-protected leave to care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent, or next of kin who is a member of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard and Reserves) or covered veteran and who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is in outpatient status or on temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness.
Calculate Military Caregiver Leave
The following explains how an employer should calculate an employee's entitlement to military caregiver leave when the employer uses a calendar-year method for other FMLA-qualifying reasons. Remember, an employee is only entitled to a total of 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period.
The employer uses the calendar-year method (January 2009-December 2009) for determining an employee's leave balance for FMLA leave taken for all qualifying reasons other than military caregiver leave.
An employee first takes military caregiver leave in June 2009. Between June 2009 and June 2010 (the "single 12-month period'' for military caregiver leave), the employee may take a combined total of 26 workweeks of leave, including up to 12 weeks for any other FMLA-qualifying reason if he has not yet taken any FMLA leave in 2009.
If, however, the employee already had taken five weeks of FMLA leave for his own serious health condition when he began taking military caregiver leave in June 2009, he then would be entitled to no more than seven weeks of FMLA leave for reasons other than to care for a covered service member during the remainder of the 2009 calendar year (i.e., the 12 weeks yearly entitlement minus the five weeks already taken). Although his entitlement to FMLA leave for reasons other than military caregiver leave is limited by his use of FMLA leave during the calendar year, the employee still is entitled to take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave to care for a covered service member from June to December 2009.
Beginning in January 2010, the employee is entitled to an additional 12 weeks of FMLA leave for reasons other than to care for a covered service member. If the employee takes four weeks of FMLA leave for his own serious health condition in January 2010, this would reduce both the number of available weeks of FMLA leave remaining in calendar year 2010 (i.e., the 12 weeks yearly entitlement minus the four weeks already taken) and the number of weeks of FMLA leave available for either military caregiver leave or other FMLA-qualifying reasons during the "single 12-month period'' of June 2009-June 2010.
Once the employee exhausts his or her 26-workweek entitlement, he or she may not take any additional FMLA leave for any reason until the “single 12-month period'' ends. Thus, for example, if the employee took 20 workweeks of military caregiver leave from June to December 2009, four workweeks of leave in January 2010 for his or her own serious health condition, and another two workweeks of military caregiver leave in March 2010, the employee will have exhausted his or her 26-workweek entitlement for the “single 12-month period'' of June 2009-June 2010. The employee still would have eight weeks of FMLA leave available in calendar year 2010, but the employee could not take such leave until after June 2010, when the “single 12-month period'' ends.
Key Employee Designation
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