Granting or denying FMLA leave involves a multi-step process, in which the designation notice is the final step.
The designation notice, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor as a documentation resource, is an easy-to-use tool that allows an employer to inform an employee whether the request for leave is covered under the FMLA.
The designation notice is essentially a document that serves as the leave contract between an employer and employee. It is completed by an HR professional and shared with the employee, and specifies the number of weeks, days, or hours (in the case of intermittent leave) that the leave will take place.
The designation notice tells the employee one of five things:
- FMLA leave is approved
- More information is needed to determine if leave can be approved
- Leave is denied
- FMLA does not cover the leave requested
- Employee has exhausted his or her FMLA leave entitlement for that 12 month period