Should you mention call-in policy in your FMLA notice to employees?
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Should you mention call-in policy in your FMLA notice to employees?

Does the notice you give employees of their FMLA leave rights and responsibilities have to mention your call-in policy (if you have one)?

No, according to a federal court’s ruling on a case from Arkansas. But it’s probably a good idea to do so anyway.

Failure to comply
A telephone company worker was fired after she failed to comply with a weekly call-in policy during her FMLA leave. She sued, claiming the company interfered with her FMLA rights by not reminding her of the policy each time she applied for FMLA leave.

But the court said the company had no obligation to do this. Referring to the FMLA regs (29 C.F.R. § 825.301(b)(2)), the court said: “The FMLA expressly states that employers are not required to provide a notice explaining whether the employer will require ‘periodic reports of the employee’s status and intent to return to work.’ ”

That said, the optional rights and responsibilities form provided by DOL – WH-381 – does have a “periodic reports/intent to work” box you can check. If you expect workers to follow a call-in policy, it may save headaches later to go ahead and check it.

Cite: Thompson v. CenturyTel of Central Arkansas, No. 09-3602, 8th Cir., 12/3/10.

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