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Employment Law/FMLA question



Good Day to You. I have been receiving FMLA leave to care for an approved family member on an intermittent basis. How much notice do I need to give my employer before I leave to provide care? There are times when I have to leave immediately and that isn't going over well.


You should give as much notice as possible. It is understandable that you are a caregiver and have a duty to the person you are caring for. It also needs to be understood that although you have this obligation and you are allowed to use FMLA to care for this person you also have a job to perform for your company. When your obligations cause you to fail in your job duties it could become a hardship on the company and it could cause you to be terminated.

Although you are allowed 12 weeks of FMLA each year the company must be able to operate its business as well. I don't know what job you hold, but if this is interfering with your job you might have to find a caregiver that you can call if you cannot get away from your job immediately.

If this were to go in front of the Department of Labor which is where you would need to take it if you feel you are being dealt with unfairly by the company in regards to the FMLA leave than you will have to prove with a doctor's notice that you must leave immediately when these events come up and that you cannot give any notice.

You might want to step back and take stock and figure out which incidents are an immediate need and which ones can wait a hour or so until you can give a bit of notice for someone to cover your postion. If they are so frequent that your job is not being done properly than you might want to look into getting a caregiver for the individual or haveing them reside in a care facility.

Most companies will work with you on these family matters, but there comes a time when it is too much and you need to recognize that and you will have to make a life choice at that time. Perhaps if you need to provide that much care you need a different job that maybe is part time so that you will  have more time or one that has more flexibility.

Once your 12 weeks has been used there is no obligation on the company to keep your job open so if you use all your 12 weeks FMLA time you could be terminated.

If it is causing your work to not be done you can be terminated for being non productive and for not completing your work. This would be unrelated to your FMLA leave. Although the government give you the FMLA leave the company still has a right to expect you to complete your job. If you cannot do both you probably will continue to have problems as work and need to look at some life choices.

I would like to tell you differently , but in real life this is how it is. FMLA to care for a family member should not be a long drawed out event. If it is a short time event sit down and talk with your supervisor and your HR manager and let them know it will only be for a short time and you will be back at work and working your normal schedule.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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