Can An Employer Deny Fmla?

Who doesn’t want a break from work? Especially when you have to do so for medical or family reasons. The FMLA act is a law that allows you to take this leave, however certain laws apply. You have to fulfill certain criteria before you can be eligible for this unpaid leave.The Family and Medical Leave Act, also known as FMLA is a law that enables employees an unpaid leave for up to 12 working weeks. This law is incumbent on the public sector including educational institutions, federal workers, State workers, and local employees. It is also valid for the private sector, but only for employers who have a workforce of at least 50 workers and 20 workweeks in the preceding or current year. It also applies to the successors of employers who fulfilled this criterion. Let us know about ‘Can An Employer Deny Fmla?’.

Can An Employer Deny Fmla?


  1. An employer who is not covered can deny an FMLA leave to his employees. 
  2. An employee who has not completed 1,250 hours of work in the year before applying for the leave can also be denied the leave.
  3. An employee who does not work at a location where the employer has a workforce of 50 people within a 75-mile radius is also not eligible for FMLA leave.
  4. To be allowed leave, the employee should have work experience of at least 12 months within seven years unless the employee had to take a break for military reasons or had an agreement with the employer.

The employee is allowed to demand his FMLA leave if he qualifies for one or more of the following 

  1. They have to take care of an immediate family member like a child, spouse, or parent suffering from a serious health issue.
  2. The arrival of a newborn child. The time is given to look after the child and bond with them.
  3. If the employee himself has a serious health issue that is rendering him incapable of working.
  4. If there are issues arising because the employee’s daughter, son, parent, or spouse is away on duty as a member of the regular Armed Forces, National Guard, or reserves.

Bonding with a child

The employer has the authority to decide whether his employee can get intermittent leaves to bond with their child to reduce their workload. Moreover, the employee has to stop the break for bonding purposes once the 12 months end. The employee is allowed to take intermittent breaks for medical reasons. However, they are required to make an effort to plan the medical procedures in such a way that the work of the employer is not disturbed.


Certain health conditions enable an employee to demand his FMLA break these include:

  1. A medical condition that causes the employee to have to stay in the hospital or medical facility overnight.
  2. For females, pregnancy also falls under the category that makes a person eligible for the FMLA break. This includes prenatal medical appointments, clinically required bed rest, morning sickness, and more.
  3. A condition that causes an employee or his close family member to be unable to attend work or school for three consecutive days and that requires an ongoing medical procedure. This procedure can either be a single medical appointment followed by follow-up care or it could be multiple appointments with health care providers.
  4. Chronic conditions also require a health care leave. Such a chronic condition should fulfill three criteria. 1) it should last for a prolonged time. 2) It should require visits from a health representative under the constant supervision of a health care provider. 3) THe periodic visits should be at least twice a year. This means they could be episodic and do not have to last consistently.

If an employer is not assured about the medical condition of the employee, he can demand proper certification. However, if he wants a second or third opinion, he will have to bear the medical expenses of the examinations. For the initial certification, the employer is required to give the employee seven days to get the necessary documents.

The employer is allowed to deny an employee his FMLA leave if the employee fails to or refuses to get authorization or complete certification for a health care issue from their health care provider. In such a scenario, the employer has the upper hand and can choose as he pleases.

If the employer gets the necessary certification, he must give the leave. However, he can ask for follow-up proof from the medical professional treating the employee once the date of the health issue is complete. For example, if a disease treatment is supposed to last for six weeks and the employee asks for an extension of the leave, the employer is allowed to ask for medical proof.


The employer can deny FMLA leaves if the employee does not qualify for the leave as specified by the law. The employer can also deny the leave if sufficient certification is not produced from the employee’s side to prove the crisis they are facing.


Q)Is an FMLA leave allowed for mental health issues?

A)Mental health can be a serious issue. If your mental health issue falls under the category of chronic illnesses or some other sector in the law of FMLA health care then you are eligible to take the leave. An example of mental health issues is anxiety or depression which requires the treatment of professional healthcare representatives.

Q)Can the employer change the job of an employee after an FMLA leave?

A)The employee’s job is protected by the law when on an FMLA leave. This means that the Employee must be given the same job that he had when he took the break. Or he must be given an opportunity with the same pay, equivalent bonuses, opportunities, vacations, and other benefits. The work schedule should also be similar.

Can An Employer Deny Fmla?

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