As covered in the last installment of this series, every employer covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is required to post an FMLA general notice explaining the FMLA’s provisions and other various U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) forms and notices. The following article discusses the proper ways to deliver notices.
In a case decided in 2014 by the Third Circuit (which covers Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania ), Lupyan v. Corinthian Colleges, the Court held that an FMLA notice sent to an employee by regular U.S. mail was insufficient, as compared to certified mail or some other form of service that included a receipt.
In the Lupyan case, the employee worked for Corinthian Colleges as an instructor. She completed a leave of absence request form seeking “personal leave” and provided complete FMLA medical certification supporting her need for leave for depression.
The college properly converted her request for “personal leave” into one for FMLA leave, and it sent by U.S. mail the appropriate FMLA notices designating her absence as such. When the employee attempted to return to work 14 weeks later, she no longer had a job because she didn’t return to work after her 12 weeks of FMLA leave expired.