DOL Opinion Letter Addresses Notice Required from Employees Seeking FMLA Leave

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On May 5, 2009, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a Wage and Hour Opinion Letter clarifying how much advance notice employees must provide when requesting leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The recently released letter (dated January 6, 2009, but not released until May 5, 2009) clarifies that when it is not possible for an employee to give 30 days advance notice of the need for leave, the employee must comply with the employer's internal policies and procedures for requesting leave, as long as it is practicable to do so. The new opinion letter also rescinds a prior DOL opinion letter to the extent that the earlier letter established a two-business-day rule for notice of employees' need for FMLA leave. See FMLA2009-1-A (1/6/09) (rescinding FMLA-101 (1/15/99)).

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