Human Resources/FMLA


My dr is going to put me on FMLA, but I would like to know what information I should tell my immediate supervisor and what I should not say. I don't want them to worry about me coming back nor worry my future performance but I don't want the information to be used against me in my career. (I have CFS.)


Thank you for the question.  First,  I will assume, your employer is a covered employer under FMLA having 50+ employees (generally) and you are a covered employee who worked enough to qualify for FMLA.   If this is not the case, your doctor is just asking you to go on bed rest which is not FMLA according to the law.  

So, I'll assume it is qualified FMLA for this question.   FMLA is simply the employer's responsibility to protect your job status, position , pay, etc while you are out for 12 weeks in a FMLA year which is defined by your employer's policy based on calendar date, fiscal year or date you last used FMLA.  It may be paid or unpaid and may require you to use up vacation benefits in conjuntion with non-paid FMLA.

As far as what to say,  Just tell the supervisor you will need time away for FMLA leave.  The employer does have a right to know why you need leave in order to be sure the reason is qualified leave for your or a dependent's medical needs.  Also, during the 12 weeks, or upon your return to work if it is a full block of 12 weeks off, the employer can ask you for medical documentation to show you are suitable to return to work.

That is it.  You don't need to promise anything to anyone and the company is not allowed according to FMLA to fill your job so you have nothing to return to.  If someone does fill in, they need to make room for you when you can come back in the same or similar positon.

Again, all this applies to 480 hours of missed time ( 12 weeks @ 40 hours)  If you take off 13 weeks, then FMLA   DOES NOT APPLY any longer and you lose the protection, meaning the employer may not be required to re-employ you.  So, you should be sure to return within 480 hours,  not 485.

After you tell the supervisor, you need time off, you should ask for forms to fill out and have your Dr sign and get them back to he employer.   

Last, your health benefits deductions will continue the same so while out you would need to pay your share as though you worked.  If you dont go back, the employer can ask you to repay them for their portion.

I hope this helps.   It is not a simple  yes- no question-  as anything with government mandated plans.

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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

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* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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