Call-in policies are FMLA-OK

I cannot state clearly enough the importance of clearly stating company policies to employees – and I can clearly state that ten times fast.


In a recent court case, a clearly stated call-in policy saved a company from a former employee’s claim that it had violated the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).


Under the FMLA, an employee can bring two types of claims against an employer:


  1. Interference claims – employer denied or interfered with employee rights under the FMLA.
  2. Retaliation claims – the employer discriminated against an employee after exercising FMLA rights.


In this case, the former employee brought both types of charges, and the court denied both.


The case highlighted some positive points for employers about the FMLA.  Here’s what the case pointed out:


  • FMLA does not require an employer to provide an employee with written notice of its call-in policy each time leave is requested – a policy in a handbook will suffice.
  • Call-in policies are permissible under the FMLA, as FMLA regulations state “[a]n employer may require an employee on FMLA leave to report periodically on the employee’s status and intent to return to work.”
  • An employee on FMLA leave may be fired if he/she does not comply with the employer’s call-in policy.


To learn more about the case, read “Company Call-in Policy Upheld, No Interference with Employee’s FMLA Rights” by our partners at Jackson Lewis LLP.


And check out A Guide to FMLA and ADA if you’re unsure about your FMLA-related policies’ compliance.


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