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The Employee Leave Request Determining Employee's Eligibility Issuing the Company Response Tracking the Employee’s Leave
The Mandatory Employee Notice Determining Employee's Eligibility Issuing the Company Response Tracking the Employee’s Leave
The Mandatory Employee Notice The Employee Leave Request Issuing the Company Response Tracking the Employee’s Leave
The Mandatory Employee Notice The Employee Leave Request Determining Employee's Eligibility Tracking the Employee’s Leave
The Mandatory Employee Notice The Employee Leave Request Determining Employee's Eligibility Issuing the Company Response

STEP 3: Determining Employee's Eligibility

Now that the employee leave request has been submitted and reviewed, it is time for you to determine whether or not the employee is eligible for FMLA benefits. For starters, the employee must meet the following initial eligibility requirements based on their employment length and location:

  • Have been employed by you for at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutive)
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period
  • Work at a location in the United States where at least 50 employees are employed by you within 75 miles

When are they entitled to FMLA leave?

You must grant an eligible employee up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Birth of a child, adoption, placement of child in foster home
  • Employee’s own serious health condition
  • Care of spouse, parent, or child with serious health condition
  • Qualifying exigency because the employee’s spouse, child or parent is on or has been called to covered active duty in the Regular Armed Forces (including the National Guard or Reserves) to a foreign country
  • Care of a seriously injured/ill-covered service member/veteran who is a spouse, child, parent, or next of kin to the employee

For additional details, please read over our FMLA Eligibility guide.

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Informing the employee of their eligibility

You must notify an employee of the employee’s eligibility to take FMLA leave within 5 business days of the employee requesting leave or when you learn that an employee’s leave may be for a FMLA qualifying reason.  This eligibility notice must state:

  • Whether the employee is eligible for FMLA leave and meets the above three requirements; or
  • If the employee is not eligible, at least one reason why the employee is not eligible.

If an employee is not eligible for FMLA leave, you should deny the request using the Company Response (Eligibility) form and check other federal, state, and local leave laws and company-provided benefits to determine if other laws may apply to this request. A fully completed Company Response (Eligibility) form provides employees the information required by 29 C.F.R. §825.300(b). When the employee is informed, you have completed your FMLA Action Plan.

If you enough information to also designate leave as an FMLA-qualifying event (birth of a child, employee’s own serious health condition etc.) without more information or medical certification, you should first issue the employee the Company Response (Eligibility) form and then use the Company Response (Designation) form to inform the employee that this request with be designated and counted as FMLA. When the employee is informed, you have completed your FMLA Action Plan.  Make sure and monitor leave using the FMLA Leave Tracker.

Still unsure? Request more information

If you require more information to determine whether a leave request is for an FMLA-qualifying event, inform the employee of their basic eligibility and need for more information using the Company Response (Eligibility) form available above. Once that is done, give the employee the appropriate medical certification form above, depending on their request. While you are not required to use this certification, you may not ask the employee to provide more information than allowed under the FMLA regulations, 29 C.F.R. §§825.306-825.308. You should allow an employee at least 15 days to return the certification.  In accordance with federal law, employers generally must maintain records and documents relating to medical certifications, recertifications or medical histories of employees, created for FMLA purposes, as confidential medical records and in separate files/records from the usual personnel files.