Hello, Your question is actually quite novel. There appears to be no appellate case law on whether an employer can allocate FMLA leave for an employee without providing prior notice of the allocation. DOL regulations clearly state that an employer interferes with an employee's rights under FMLA by "refusing to authorize FMLA leave" and "discouraging an employee from using such leave." 29 C.F.R. § 825.220. It follows that an employer has discouraged an employee from taking FMLA leave when his or her supervisor interferes with the length and dates of leave, including denying leave out right. See, e.g., Williams v. Shenango, Inc., 986 F.Supp. 309, 320-21 (W.D.Pa. 1997) (holding that periodic denials of FMLA leave requests and limitations on which week the employee was allowed to take it presented a genuine issue of fact as to whether the employee's rights under FMLA were denied). The statute and the accompanying regulations protect an employee from any employer actions that discourage or interfere with the right to take FMLA leave. 29 C.F.R. § 825.220(1). See generally, Xin Liu v. Amway Corp., 347 F. 3d 1125, 1134 (9th Cir. 2003). The question in your case is whether or not the employer interferes with the employee's lFMLA benefits by allocating them without notice to the employee. The argument in favor is that the employee may not have needed all of the leave allocated, in which case the employer would have definitely interfered in violation of federal law. The counterargument is that without the allocation, the employee would have been terminated immediately, rendering the entire issue moot. If I were the judge, I would rule than an employer has the right to terminate an employee who doesn't request FMLA benefits. By failing to do so, the employer accepts that the employee was not terminated, and the employee retains her right to the FMLA benefits. If your wife wants to fight about this, she will need an employment rights
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