Absence Management

What responsibilities do managers, employees, and HR teams have for FMLA leave?

What responsibilities do managers, employees, and HR teams have for FMLA leave?

Filing a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claim can be stressful and confusing for employees and employers. Ensuring that everyone knows their responsibilities can reduce that stress and result in a smooth, positive leave process.

The list below provides an outline of FMLA responsibilities for managers, employees, and Human Resources (HR) teams.

Employee responsibilities

  • ​​Notify your supervisor when the need for leave is confirmed.
  • Initiate the leave process with HR.
  • Tell your supervisor how your pay should be recorded during your leave.
  • Complete any required forms and return them to HR during the designated time frame.
  • Notify your supervisor and HR if any status changes occur during your le​ave.
  • Give your supervisor and HR your return-to-work date.

Supervisor responsibilities

  • Refer your employee to HR to open a leave request. (If your employee is unable to contact HR, you should contact the department on the employee’s behalf.)
  • Review the employee’s pay coding request.
  • Contact your employee during his or her leave to ask for return-to-work status updates, if necessary.
  • Confirm that HR has received your employee’s return-to-work notice.

HR responsibilities

  • Review the employee’s records to determine his or her FMLA eligibility.
  • If the employee is ineligible, draft the necessary denial letter and notify the employee.
  • If the employee is eligible, contact the employee to discuss the details of his or her leave. Provide information about the leave process and explain any necessary paperwork.
  • Notify the employee’s supervisor, via email, about approving the leave.
  • Prepare any necessary forms and mail them to the employee. Notify him or her about the required return time frame.
  • Make any necessary updates to the employee’s record in your HR management system.
  • Follow up with the employee, if necessary.
  • Update your HR management system with the employee’s return-to-work information. ​

If you ever have questions or concerns while managing an FMLA request, consult your company’s legal counsel. Doing so may help your company avoid a potentially costly FMLA violation.

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