The FMLA provides employees of companies with 50 or more employees who have a year of service with up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid job-protected time off for (a) the birth, adoption, or placement for foster care of a child, (b) in the event the employee or his or her child, spouse or parent has a “serious” health condition, (c) in the event the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on covered active duty in the military with additional leave to care for the employee if he or she is wounded.
When employees request leave, listen for requests that might meet the FMLA criteria. Employees don’t need to use the words “FMLA leave” to be qualified. Bring all such requests directly to HR; do not attempt to make any determinations regarding the leave yourself as there are a number of complicated issues regarding FMLA administration best left to HR. Work with HR regarding the impact of any leave on your staffing needs.