FMLA: Information for Managers and Supervisors

Family And Medical Leave (FML) refers to rights and responsibilities pertaining to The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 and the Maine Family Medical Leave Law.

FMLA requires an employer to approve up to a total of twelve (12) weeks of leave for any eligible employee in any one-year period for one or more of the following reasons:

      1. the birth of a child and care of the newborn;

      2. the adoption or foster care placement of a child;

      3. a serious health condition of the employee;

      4. a serious health  condition of an immediate family member

Other medical leaves that can be approved:

      1. Maine Family and Medical Leave Act

      2. Collective Bargaining Contract/Employee Handbook - paid time - leave balances available

      3. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

      4. Workers Compensation

Yes. The employee needs to follow your department’s call-in procedures (e.g., when to call, whom to call) for intermittent or unplanned absences. Make sure these rules are known and evenly applied to everyone.

The Service & Maintenance bargaining contract status in part:

Employees must notify the Director or appropriate Supervisor in charge of the shift, if available, of their illness as early as possible, but in any case no more than one-half (1/2) hour following the starting time, in order to be paid sick leave, unless a later time is approved by the Director.

Per Federal FML Guidelines:

For planned medical treatment, the employee must consult with the employer and try to schedule the appointment at a time that minimizes the disruption to the employer. The employee should consult with the employer prior to scheduling the treatment in order to arrange a schedule that best suits the needs of both the employee and employer.

When the need for leave is unexpected, the employee must provide notice to the employer as soon as possible and practical. It should generally be practicable for the employee to provide notice of leave that is unforeseeable within the time required by the employer’s usual and customary notice requirements. For example, if the employee’s child has a severe asthma attack and the employee takes the child to the emergency room, the employee is not required to leave the child to report the absence while the child is receiving emergency treatment.

The employee must work with you and make a reasonable effort to schedule those planned appointments at a time that will not disrupt the work of your department.

Ask the employee. First, the employee must follow your department’s call-in procedure for absences (e.g., when to call, whom to call). Second, when the employee calls in, you need to ask the employee whether the absence is for one or more FMLA-covered reasons. The employee must answer your questions that are reasonably directed to determining whether the absence is covered.  You do not need a lot of information, but you do need to know enough to determine whether the absence is FMLA or not (e.g., “are you out today for an FMLA reason?” or “I understand you are unable to work today – is this related to your FMLA leave?”).

Contact the Employee Benefits Center. It may be necessary to have the employee recertify the FMLA absences if the number or frequency of absences is not what the health care provider suggested.  Once notified, EBC will send a recertification request to the employee.

Yes, however a supervisor must not ask for medical certifications or paperwork, just informal touching base with the employee is recommended.

You are responsible for approving paid time reported during an employee’s FMLA absences. It is extremely important that the usage is accurate and the time approval process is timely to be processed in each biweekly or monthly paycheck. This is especially true when an employee is taking intermittent FMLA leave. The Employee Benefits Center will review paid time off when they receive the employee’s Intermittent Tracking Form from the employee.  

Per Federal FML guidelines: an employee must be restored to the employee's original job, or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.

A supervisor may temporarily transfer an employee to an alternative position in order to accommodate intermittent absences or a request for a reduced schedule, provided that it provides “equivalent pay and benefits” and the transfer is permitted by policy or contract.

For additional information, please visit our website for family leave policies: