How Does a Family Medical Leave Absence Typically Work?


Quick Answer

Employers may require a 30-day advance request of impending family medical leave, such as birth, adoption or surgery. The employer may require medical documentation of the need, and may also require a second opinion at the employer's expense. The employer may deny the leave if the employee fails to comply.

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How Does a Family Medical Leave Absence Typically Work?
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Full Answer

Employees typically must use accrued paid time off, such as vacation days and sick leave, for part or all of the family medical leave. When paid time off runs out, the remaining approved family medical leave time is unpaid.

The employer must allow the employee to return to work in most cases, but not necessarily to the same position. Employees may use family medical leave for more than one approved medical need, but the total allowable family medical leave time off cannot exceed 12 weeks in a 12 month period.

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