Must I grant this FMLA request?

Bill Bransford, partner at Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C., a federal employment law firm, authored the Federal Times' column Must I Grant this FMLA Request? on July 25, 2010. The column is available here.

Excerpt: The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a narrow but important benefit for many workers in the U.S., including federal employees. The challenge for federal managers is to understand some of the intricacies of the law so that they know when and how to challenge a worker who may be misusing FMLA as an unjustified excuse to stay away from the job, while preserving the right to return to work at the employee’s option.

Most federal employees do not abuse FMLA. FMLA covers leave for a serious illness of the employee or the employee’s spouse, child or parent. It also covers leave for the birth or adoption of a child. It is only available to employees who have been employed for more than one year, and it permits the employee an unpaid absence for up to 12 weeks within a 12-month period. Office of Personnel Management regulations allow a federal worker to substitute paid sick or annual leave.

Source: Federal Times