FMLA Documentation Requirements


The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides employees with job-protected unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. Since the FMLA’s inception in 1993, it has posed challenges to both employers and employees due the intricate documentation required to initiate proper leave. Organizations found to be in violation of accurate paperwork have faced costly litigation for non-compliance.

FMLA Poster

FMLA rules state that the Employee Rights Under the FMLA poster must be displayed “prominently where it can be readily seen by employees and applicants for employment.” A new poster was issued on April 25, 2016, which organizes FMLA information in a more intuitive, user-friendly way. According to the Department of Labor’s Branch Chief for the FMLA, Helen Applewhaite, employers are not required to replace older posters if they already have one in place.

FMLA Help Guide

The 76-page FMLA Help Guide should be provided to new employees during orientation. The guide is organized chronologically, corresponding to the natural order of events from an employee’s initial leave request to medical certification to restoration of the employee to their original (or equivalent) position at the end of that employee’s leave. The Help Guide may be distributed in a paper or digital copy, and employers who fail to provide this documentation could face potential lawsuits.

Designation Notice

Employers are required to complete the FMLA Designation Notice (Form WH-382). This form serves two purposes: 1) it informs the employer whether the FMLA request was approved or denied, and 2) it provides an opportunity for employers to request additional information.

FMLA Forms

These FMLA forms consist of the actual documentation that employers should distribute to their employees:

  • WH-380-E – This form is for employees who request leave for their own serious health condition.
  • WH-380-F – This form is for employees who request leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

Military Leave Forms

Since the characteristics of military family leave differ from regular FMLA, different forms are required:

  • WH-384 – The nature of military leave is that it is an urgent need or demand, and the FMLA defines this as “exigencies”. Exigencies include military deployments and engagements, and this form protects service member families when an employee is required to leave in an urgent manner.
  • WH-385 – This form covers employees and families who have been affected by a serious injury or illness due to military service.
  • WH-385-V – This form covers veterans and their families due to a serious injury or illness from military service.

Health Treatment Documentation

In addition to the above forms issued from the Department of Labor, employees need to provide paperwork from their healthcare professional that details their medical condition. If the employee were to enter a lawsuit, lack of proper medical documentation would likely result in a loss for the employee.

NOVAtime Workforce Management Streamlines FMLA Reporting

NOVAtime understands that documenting FMLA can be a confusing and cumbersome task with significant risks for improper paperwork. NOVAtime’s workforce management solutions include a Document Manager that can view scanned documents, complete PDF forms, and integrate with analytics. NOVAtime’s FMLA solution also seamlessly integrates with workflow by including notifications and reminders for key FMLA tasks. With tens of thousands of implementations over the course of the past 18 years, NOVAtime’s Professional Services Team is prepared to navigate the unique challenges of FMLA compliance.


FMLA compliance can be intimidating with its confusing list of required documentation. NOVAtime offers a cost-efficient and tailored workforce management solutions for organizations seeking assistance in FMLA compliance.

For additional information, please contact NOVAtime: 877-486-6682 - or - Click here

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