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FMLA notice requirements

Thanks to the Family and Medical Leave Act, some employees are able to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their job over a 12 month period. Best yet, the leave is job protected, meaning that the employer must keep your position available until you return.

If you are eligible for FMLA leave and need to make a claim, it is important to know what is expected of you. This is not something you decide on today and implement tomorrow (unless it is an absolute must). Instead, there are notice requirements to be aware of.

Here is what you need to know, as outlined by the Department of Labor:

-- If you know in advance that you will take an FMLA leave, you should give your employer a 30 day notice period.

-- If you are unsure of if you will need a leave more than 30 days before the start date, you should discuss with your employer as soon as possible.

-- In the event of an emergency that prevents you from providing advanced notice, you should tell your company within two days of returning that you want to use FMLA to cover your leave.

If you are an eligible employee, there is nothing your employer can do to stop you from taking an FMLA leave. You are entitled to this and should take advantage if the need arises.

Those who are seeking more information on the Family and Medical Leave Act, including the responsibilities of the employer and employee, should visit our webpage entitled "California Family Medical Leave Act Claims."

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