FMLA required to be implemented by employer if employee does not want to?

So I am not 100% sure on how this rule is interpreted. The company has no official policy on FMLA except to discuss the protection for the employee and how they go about requesting it. I am uncertain whether the employer can force an employee to start FMLA if no policy is in place to indicate this.

I guess what I'm trying to ask is what are the rules for an employer once an employee has a qualifying event to start the clock running? Is it up to the employee to request or does the employer have a right or even a requirement to start the timer?

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