What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? TX
Can an employer require the employee to use both PTO and FMLA when they are absent due to the illness/issue for which the FMLA is approved? The policy at work states that if you use FMLA and have PTO on the books you must use it, but doesn't actually say if you use PTO you must also use FMLA.
Furthermore, when returning to work from time off for sickness, policy requires the employee to completing a form not just showing the hours off but also detailing the medical reason why.
Lastly, can they require you to apply for FMLA just because you've missed two days (regardless of how far apart) for the same illness?
If you, the employer, and the illness all qualify for FMLA, the employer MUST apply it, regardless of whether or not PTO is used. Even if you don't ask for it or want it, it is your legal right and there is no advantage to NOT using it.
The employer can ask for any info it wants. They can also require that a doctor certify you fit for duty and non-contagious before allowing you to return after you are sick.
It just feels as though they are "double-dipping". I always (mis)understood FMLA to kick in after PTO was exhausted.
Given the liberal available PTO (state employee) it is quite possible to use all of the FMLA on doctor's visits and the like, then find oneself unemployed because they are out of PTO and FMLA and now in the hospital.
You are incorrect. FMLA runs concurrently with PTO, disability, or any other type of paid leave. It is separate. FMLA protects your job, PTO pays you while you are out of work.
FMLA should NOT be used for doctors appointments which are NOT relating to a serious medical condition. If you take a day off for an annual physical, that would not qualify for FMLA. But pretty much any illness which keeps you out for more then a day or 2 would qualify.
If you are really using 12 weeks worth of doctors appointments in a year, you must have a serious health condition being monitored.
The law specifically and by statute allows the employer to require any form of paid leave, including PTO, to run concurrently with FMLA. You do not get to use your PTO and then get an additional 12 weeks of FMLA on top of that.
However, while the employer can require that you use PTO any time you are using FMLA, the employer cannot require that you use FMLA any time you use PTO. If you, the employer, and the medical condition all qualify for FMLA, the employer MUST apply FMLA protections (with limited exceptions); if you, the employer and the medical condition do not all qualify for FMLA, the employer MAY NOT apply FMLA. And if the absence is not related to a medical condition (of either the employee or a qualified dependent) then FMLA does not come into the story at all.
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