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The DOL wanted you to first go through your HR because they wisely recognized that there is a defense if you don't do that first. If you don't first go through the company HR, the employer can state that they never had a chance to cure.
So, after you have gone through HR, if the issue is not resolved, you then have to go back to the DOL so that they can initiate an FMLA discrimination investigation, to preserve your right to sue in federal court.
I received a letter from the USPS HR department telling me that : "Managers may not request documentation each time an employee request FMLA leave protection. If a Supervisor/Manager has inquiries, concerns, or believes an employee is misusing their FMLA they will need to contact the Human Resources Shared Service Center(HRSSC) by email via their appropriate HRSSC FMLA (Area) Outlook account. As part of the HRSSC FMLA procedures, theses Area email accounts have been set up to capture and respond to all management FMLA inquiries. A team Has been designated to handle the response in the order
So, it sounds like they have a team set to respond to your request.
Now, you just need to keep track of when you were denied FMLA. You typically only have 180 days following that time to file your DOL complaint.
If your employer's HR has not responded within, say 150 days of your FMLA denial, contact the DOL again and state that you have gone through HR but they are either stalling or not responding. They just need to know that you have attempted to go through the HR process and they either did or did not respond in some way.