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Ask HR Services: Family and Medical Leave Designation

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Can designating an absence as family and medical leave (FML) be delayed at the discretion of the district or at the employee’s request?

A 2019 Department of Labor (DOL) opinion letter clarified that an employer may not delay designating leave as FMLA-qualifying, even if the employee would prefer the employer delay the designation.

The opinion letter outlines an employer’s obligation to provide written designation of FML within five days of receiving enough information to determine the absence is for an FMLA-qualifying reason.

For more information on the timing for designating FML, check out the HRX article DOL Clarifies FMLA Leave Cannot Be Delayed. Notices to provide employees notice of FMLA eligibility and rights & responsibilities and designation of family and medical leave in English and Spanish can be found in the HR Services Resource Library (member login required) or on the DOL website (English only).

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April Mabry
April Mabry
Best Practices: Salary Notification Letters

April Mabry oversees HR Services training services, member library products, and the HRX newsletter. She has provided HR training and guidance to Texas public schools  since 1991. Mabry was a classroom teacher for 11 years in Texas and Michigan.

Mabry has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan and certification as a professional in human resources (PHR) and is a SHRM-CP.

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TASB HR Services supports HR leadership in Texas schools through membership offerings in specialized training, consulting, and other services.
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