Employee Leave – Legal Rules

Employees may need to take time off from work for various reasons, including for their own medical situations or family emergencies. Federal and state leave laws require employers to provide employees with leave in certain
situations. In general, when employees request time off from work, employers should consider their obligations under:
 The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), if applicable;
 The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights
 The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if applicable; and
 Any applicable state and local laws on employee leave, including laws
about paid sick leave.

This Compliance Overview provides a high-level summary of the compliance rules that an employer should consider when evaluating an employee’s leave request.

General Rules

• At the federal level, the FMLA, USERRA and the ADA require covered employers to provide
leave in certain situations.
• Many states have their own laws regarding employee leave, including family and medical leave, school leave and organ donation leave.
• As a growing trend, states and localities are adopting paid sick leave laws.

Key Compliance Steps

• Determine which leave laws apply to your organization.
• Review employee leave policies and practices for compliance with
applicable laws.
• Train supervisors on leave policies.
• Administer employee leaves in a consistent and nondiscriminatory manner across your organization.


The Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act, a Department of Labor (DOL) publication.
• Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on employer-provided leave and the ADA.

Download the full PDF here –Employee Leave – Legal Rules

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