Notice: Contact HROE Employee Relations at or (979) 862-4027 for questions about FMLA.

Employee Responsibilities under FMLA

Employees have certain responsibilities to fulfill if the leave taken is to be granted or designated as FMLA leave. In general, employees must:

  • Provide 30 days' advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need for leave is foreseeable;
  • Provide sufficient information (usually a certification form) in a timely manner so that the department may review for FMLA eligibility;
  • Inform the department if the requested leave is for a reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified;
  • Provide re-certification of condition if requested by department; and
  • Maintain appropriate contact with your department regarding your return-to-work status.

An employee's failure to provide information in a timely manner may result in the delay or denial of FMLA leave.

Supervisor Responsibilities under FMLA

Supervisors are an important first step in the FMLA leave process. Specifically, supervisors will need to notify the department's leave administrator when an employee's absence triggers a potential need for FMLA leave. This need could be evident when an employee:

  • Notifies the supervisor of their own or a spousal pregnancy, that his/her family will be adopting a child, or that the family will be receiving a child from foster care;
  • Misses more than 3 (three) continuous days of work;
  • Misses work due to a chronic health condition (e.g. diabetes, migraine headaches, etc.);
  • Is placed in a hospital or day care facility for any length of time; and/or
  • Is needing to care for a covered member of the armed forces, or is having to be absent from work due to a covered member's being called to active duty.

Remember that the triggers listed above will include an employee's missing work to care for a child, spouse, or parent suffering from a serious health condition. The department's leave administrator must be notified immediately if any one of the instances listed above occurs so that the leave can be reviewed for FMLA eligibility. FMLA law mandates that we act in a timely manner after one of the triggers above has become evident.

HR Liaison Responsibilities under FMLA

The duties of a department FMLA administrator will vary according to each department, but the main duties may most likely consist of:

  • Ensuring the department's compliance with the FMLA;
  • Overseeing employee FMLA leave balances and periodically reviewing for accuracy;
  • Training supervisors and managers on FMLA where necessary;
  • Communicating with Human Resources if questions arise regarding FMLA leave; and
  • Distributing packets of information to employees who may need FMLA leave.

Note: Medical documentation provided by the employee often contains medical diagnosis and history, or lists medication used in the treatment plan. This information is confidential and should not be forwarded or shared with other employees, except in the course of business for leave purposes or Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits. Employees should be encouraged to submit documentation directly to their HR Liaison or leave administrator.

Important Deadline Requirements and Processing Information

HR Liaisons with FMLA responsibilities should be aware of the following deadline requirements and other procedures:

  • Eligibility notice: Administrators must provide notice to an employee within five (5) business days regarding his/her eligibility (or non-eligibility) for FMLA leave when a department acquires knowledge that the employee's leave may be for an FMLA-qualifying reason. This is best satisfied using the standard packet cover letter.
  • Delay or denial of FMLA leave: HR must be contacted in the event a department is considering the delay or denial of an employee's FMLA leave. Reasons for delaying or denying FMLA coverage include, among others, an employee's failure to:
    • Return appropriate certification within the 15-day deadline,
    • Offer adequate notice for FMLA leave where required, and
    • Provide medical updates or clarification when requested.

Human Resources offers extensive training for liaisons who are responsible for administering FMLA leave.