Would you hop aboard the employee FMLA training train?


If you’re administering FMLA leave for your company, you likely had some form of training, even if it was simply researching a particular leave issue that came up. On the other hand, perhaps you’ve taken a multi-day seminar on the subject or even had it covered in a college course. In many organizations, supervisors and managers also receive some level of training so they can at least recognize a potential leave notice and inform the Leave Manager. Some employers go even a step further and provide some training to employees.

Why, you might ask, would employers want employees to know more about their FMLA rights? Such training doesn’t necessarily need to include information on their rights as much as it would include information about what is expected of them should they put you on notice of the need for leave.

Many employers have policies and procedures outlined in their employee handbook, but this information might not include pertinent information in regard to an employee’s expectations and employees may not peruse such information on a regular basis. In situations calling for FMLA leave, employees are likely not thinking of their handbook.

Therefore, providing training every now and then on what they can expect and what is expected of them should they need FMLA leave might just make the process run more smoothly. Such training could explain to the employees such information as follows:

  • What information to provide when putting you on notice of the need for leave. 
  • To whom they should provide notice (if applicable). 
  • Reasons that qualify for FMLA leave. 
  • Examples of reasons that do not qualify for FMLA leave. 
  • Who are considered family members and who are not. 
  • That they may need to schedule planned treatment so as not to disrupt your operations. 
  • That they need to continue paying their portion of the group health plan premium while on leave. 
  • The importance of providing a requested certification. 
  • The importance of providing a requested certification on time. 
  • The importance of providing enough information in a certification. 
  • The chance that they might need to provide recertifications. 
  • That taking FMLA leave fraudulently could result in termination. 
  • The potential repercussions of not meeting all of their requirements, including providing a complete and sufficient certification. 
  • That the right to reinstatement is not absolute. 

The training need not take long, but could serve as regular reminders for employees. Perhaps once a quarter in departmental meetings, much like emergency evacuation training. It can also let employees know that you do not take FMLA leave lightly, and will not tolerate abuse.

With reminders such as these, the employees might be better prepared for how to handle FMLA leave situations, and have less of a chance of trying to abuse it.

The train is leaving the station. Will you be on it?   


The J. J. Keller LEAVE MANAGER service is your business resource for tracking employee leave and ensuring compliance with the latest Federal and State FMLA and leave requirements.