Is it possible to file for FMLA for days that have recently passed?

I was terminated before I was given time to talk to my employer about my FMLA. On the 15th, I called out of work in order to see a physician about a condition that needed immediate care. Today was my first day back. At my earliest chance, I spoke with the manager about the condition, and told him that it will require multiple visits. I’ve taken FMLA leave in the past for this condition, so he is aware of the severity of the condition. When my direct supervisor arrived, around the end of my shift, she immediately called me to my office and explained that my employment had been terminated. The Department of Labor says this about the following about the FMLA: “When you need FMLA leave unexpectedly for example, if a family member is injured in an accident, you MUST inform your employer as soon as you can”. I turned in my work-slip the same day of the first absence. I did not explicitly mention that it was for my FMLA condition”.

Asked on February 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

d on what you have written, you unfortunately seemed to have failed to have timely notified your employer of the need for FMLA leave, since you did not tell the employer you needed FMLA when you returned to work ("I did not explicitly mention that it was for my FMLA condition.") That being the case, it is likely that FMLA would not be found to protect you; FMLA generally cannot be asserted after the fact, but must be asserted/applied for in advance or, in the case of an urgent/emergency condition, as soon *as possible* on return.

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