FMLA: Supervisor Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the home institution to designate leave, paid or unpaid, as FMLA-qualifying. An institution has the right to designate any qualifying time off as FMLA leave, even if the time is not specifically requested as FMLA leave per se by the eligible employee. It is also the responsibility of the home institution to notify the employee that it has designated such leave as FMLA-qualified. Institutions should review employee absences of 3 days or more to determine whether such time should be designated as FMLA leave.

A supervisor should be aware of the employee responsibilities under FMLA. Should a supervisor be unfamiliar with the guidelines related to FLMA policy, they should seek assistance from their campus Human Resource Department.

As soon as possible, a supervisor should provide written notice to an employee when leave taken for a qualifying condition will be designated as family leave. A supervisor must complete the FMLA Institutional Response form.

If leave is taken as a result of a serious health condition, please obtain a Form WH-380-E - Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition.

If you have a question regarding whether an employee’s leave should be designated as family leave, please contact the Human Resources office at your institution.

A University System of Georgia institution should provide its employees with information regarding the FMLA. Please obtain a poster to place in your break room or other prominent work location.

  • The FMLA posters can be accessed here. Scroll down the page to the “posters” section.

At some later date, an institution may request medical certification if there is reason to question the appropriateness of the leave or its duration. The Form WH-380-E - Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition may be used to recertify the leave. In addition, an institution that has reason to doubt the validity of a medical certification may, at the employer’s expense, require the employee to obtain a second opinion.

A supervisor may not directly contact a health care provider to request additional information, but he/she should consult with his/her institution’s HR office if assistance is needed. Arrangements may be made for a health care provider representing the institution to contact the employee’s provider, with permission, for clarification and authentication.

A supervisor should maintain contact with his/her employee to remain informed of any change in the circumstance for which leave is being taken.

You may request an attending physician to indicate when the employee may be able to return to work. Please obtain a Medical Evaluation (Return to Work) form.

A supervisor should notify the Human Resources/Payroll Office one week before an employee has exhausted all annual and sick leave. The purpose of this notification is to help the employee make arrangements to pay for health insurance premiums and other benefits premiums while not receiving a paycheck.

Please ensure you have provided information to the employee regarding his/her Employee Rights & Benefits.

If an employee is not able to return to work by the end of the approved FMLA leave, he/she may be eligible to request additional personal leave under other University System of Georgia policies. The granting of such additional leave is at the discretion of the institution. In no case may all leaves combined exceed twelve months. If an employee does not return to work and is not granted additional leave, his/her employment will end on the last day of the approved FMLA leave.

A supervisor should follow the established institutional documentation procedures regarding retaining FMLA-related paperwork. If the employee is a member of the faculty, a copy of the documentation should be sent to the Office of Faculty Affairs/Academic Affairs. For a faculty member working toward tenure, a copy of the Faculty Request for Extension of Probationary Period due to Family Medical Event form should be completed and submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs/Academic Affairs.

Once HR was notified of the FMLA request, it is then the responsibility of HR to initiate the FMLA certification process. Supervisors should not ask about or get involved in the medical issues of the employee.

Once HR has received the FMLA information from the employee, if the employee qualifies for FMLA, HR will notify the supervisor that employee has been approved for FMLA and what the expected absenteeism will be (time line for prolonged period of time; or intermittent leave at what expected intervals. Medical information of the employee is not to be shared.


The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) guidelines are followed. The supervisor/employer is responsible for protecting the privacy and confidentiality of all Personal Health Information (PHI) obtained as a result of an FMLA application and process. HIPAA guidelines will be applied to the use, maintenance, transfer, and disposition of healthcare records and information.