Designation of FMLA Leave and the 15-Day Deadline
Proper designation of FMLA leave is an important step in the administrative process. Administrators must present the FMLA packet to an employee in person and have him/her sign in the appropriate area as proof of receipt. Employees who are not available should be provided the packet through certified mail. Employees have at least 15 calendar days (absent extenuating circumstances) from the receipt of the packet to return the required documentation in order to receive FMLA benefits. The 15-day deadline for employees who are presented with the packet through certified mail begins on the date of the first attempted delivery. This deadline may be extended if the employee has failed to provide the information despite his/her diligent, good-faith efforts (physician is slow in returning the forms to the employee, employee shows s/he does not have necessary transportation for timely submission, etc.). All FMLA leave will be designated in the department’s LeaveTraq program.
FMLA-related leave taken before the 15-day deadline will be provisionally designated as FMLA leave, as employees must be given sufficient time to produce the required documentation. Effectively, employees who take FMLA-related leave during this provisional period will be afforded the full benefits of FMLA leave.
FMLA-related leave taken after the 15-day deadline will be designated as FMLA leave, provided the employee has provided sufficient documentation to certify such leave as FML as per conditions/circumstances described in 5.1.