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Ray
Ray, Employment lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 36980
Experience:  30 years in Employment law
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I own a small business in Texas with less then 50 employees.

Customer Question

I own a small business in Texas with less then 50 employees. Trying to find any forms that we can have employee sign before they go out on Medical Leave and any laws I need to be aware of as the employer. All I can find is reference material for large companies. Any help would be appreciated.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ray replied 6 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.

The FMLA applies to private employers with 50 or more employees working within 75 miles of the employee's worksite. Employers with fewer than 50 employees can also choose to provide benefits similar to those required by the FMLA, and many find it beneficial to do so.Are you wanting to provide FMLA here even if you are under 50.Thats possible.

Expert:  Ray replied 6 months ago.

Here is the form you would use for such leave, you are free to use them as an employer even if you are under 50..

https://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/wh-380-e.pdf

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
We understand we do not fall under the leave requirements. With that said, we want to know if there are forms we should have the employee should sign before they go out on leave Thursday, that will be in our best interest to have them sign. Must have doctor release, etc.In addition what is our obligation to maintain this employees job if we do not fall under a covered business? Honestly employee has expressed to co-workers they do not plan to return or want to return and then go on disability. We want to assure we are covered.
Expert:  Ray replied 6 months ago.

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to:

  • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
    • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
    • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
    • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
    • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
    • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

You would just do this voluntarily if you want to offer unpaid leave.You can use the form above here for anyone wanting such unpaid leave.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

If you don't want to offer such leave then as a small employer once they use up paid leave you would have right to terminate them for no show..

Expert:  Ray replied 6 months ago.

You would want a doctor note here for the days they will be out on paid or unpaid leave.You would want them to give you a return date here.If they are out of leave then you dictate terms for all. And you have to balance that with running a small business.It is a real hardship and you decide how long you want to give them.Ask for a letter/note with a return date and a doctor letter for those dates they are going to be off.Thats reasonable for your file.

Thanks again.

Expert:  Ray replied 6 months ago.

And you have option to use the FMLA form and their rules if you choose to do so.