Leave of Absence – Employee Rights

What do I have to do to take leave of absence? You must give notice, and you might have to provide evidence of need if you take a leave of absence. Notice Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you must give your employer notice that you need to take a leave of absence, usually at least 30 days in advance. If that’s not possible, you should give notice as soon as you can (usually within one to two days of finding out that you need to take leave).

If you fail to give enough notice, your employer may delay your leave. But, your leave cannot be taken away from you entirely. If you suddenly need to take leave of absence in an emergency, you should give your employer notice as soon as you can. There is no definite rule about this, so be sure to give notice right away. Medical proof Your employer may ask for evidence – such as a doctor’s note – that you or a family member is sick. You are not required to provide this information unless your employer requests it in writing.

The law of your state might give you the right not to disclose your illness to your employer. In that case, all you or your doctor has to tell the employer is that you or your family member has a “serious health condition”. You should contact a lawyer specializing in employment law (an employment attorney) to find out whether you must reveal your condition to your employer prior to taking medical leave.

Your employer also can require you to get a second opinion, and your employer can choose the doctor who furnishes that opinion. Your employer must pay for that visit to the second doctor. If the second doctor finds that you do not have a serious health condition, you have the right to see a third doctor. You and your employer must agree on who the third doctor will be, and your employer is required to pay the third doctor too. The third doctor’s opinion is binding and will determine whether you can take the leave. If you have questions about taking a leave of absence, talk with a labor lawyer in your area.

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