What should an employer do if an employee refuses to respond to reasonable inquiries to determine whether his or her absence is covered by the FMLA?

Author: Melissa Burdorf, XpertHR Legal Editor

If an employee's request for leave does not clearly bring the FMLA into play, an employer should question the employee to determine if the requested time off may qualify as FMLA leave. If an employee fails to respond to his or her employer's reasonable inquiries (e.g., questions or request to complete a leave request form) to determine whether or not the leave requested is FMLA-qualifying, the employer can deny the employee's leave request resulting in the employee's loss of the FMLA's protection.