Skip to Main Content

elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses

- Family and Medical Leave Act Advisor

Complying with Employer Policy

An employer may require an employee to comply with the employer's usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave, absent unusual circumstances or more stringent requirements than those under the FMLA. For example, an employer may require that written notice set forth the reasons for the requested leave, the anticipated duration of the leave and the anticipated start of the leave. An employee also may be required by an employer's policy to contact a specific individual.

Unusual circumstances would include, for example, when an employee is unable to call in to a specific number as required by the employer's policy because there is no one to answer the call and the voice mail box is full. Additionally, an employee requiring medical treatment would not be required to follow the call-in procedures until the condition stabilized and the employee has access to and could use a telephone.

If an employee does not comply with the employer's usual notice and procedural requirements, and no unusual circumstances justify the failure to do so, FMLA-protected leave may be delayed or denied. However, FMLA-protected leave may not be delayed or denied where the employer's policy requires notice to be given sooner than required by the FMLA and the employee does provide timely notice as required by the FMLA.

Continue to Other Employee Notice Requirements or Return to Employee Rights and Responsibilities Menu.

For more information on this aspect of the FMLA, see the FMLA regulations: § 825.302 , § 825.303