Employees don't want the designation

Maybe it is an education issue but we have employees who don't want leave designated as FMLA even tho the leave is FMLA. For example, an employee whose wife is having a difficult pregnancy. We know he is taking off time to attend appointments with her or to care for her at home yet he is not honest about why he is out. He won't return paperwork. He has plenty of sick time accrued but will say "I'll just take vacation" I guess thinking that will make the leave non FMLA?

Employees don't seem to understand the FMLA is a protection/


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  • Some employees think they might need it later and so want to save it. The employee doesn't really get a choice though. It is up to the employer to designate leave as FMLA or not.

    This employee probably doesn't understand and thinks they can save it by not asking for it. Or maybe they just don't want to hassle with it. Not turning in paperwork as requested, and not being honest about why you are out, are considered failure to follow policies and procedures here. As such, we would treat it as a disciplinary issue.

    I recommend that you explain this to the employee and see if they begin to cooperate more fully. Let them know that you are just trying to follow the law. After all, if something happens and he loses his job he could come back and sue you on the 'knew or should have known' basis.

    Good luck!

  • I have and employee who gets borderline beligerent when I've repeatedly told him that FMLA is an employER designated leave. He says, "But I'm using sick time! What if I just don't return the papers?" I told him that based on the information we had, we would designate his time as FMLA and the clock would start ticking.

    I agree with Nae. Some people just think they can "save" FMLA for if they get really sick or injured and have used all of their PTO.
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