How does someone take a LOA or use FMLA? Do you just contact HR? How much do you have to tell them about what’s happening?

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Ask HR for the paperwork. Most employers will give you a form that you need to have filled out by your doctor.

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I would speak with your doctor about minimal details being shared

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Also, ask if your firm has any LTD or STD benefits that can be paired with your LOA!!! A lot of places have a minimal policy, so it's worth checking out! Good luck! 🤞

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That’s good advice! Some states also have disability benefits to supplement income.

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HR can walk you through it but your doctor will need to supply some details.

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Once you’ve filled out the paperwork, do you start leave immediately? Depending on how emergent the leave is, I assume it would be good to take a day or two to transition your work?
Also, how long does one normally take for leave?
I also may need a medical leave, but it’s hard to pull yourself away when you’re on long term projects.

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Under FMLA you get 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year. The definition of a year should be set by your employer (it can be calendar, rolling, etc.) This leave can be intermittent or taken all at once. If you need additional time your company MAY be able to accommodate under the ADA.

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Yeap just talk to HR. They're the ones who would know what paperwork you're supposed to fill out.

Goes without saying, but inform your colleagues that you're taking leave, too.

How much you have to tell them is more limited in some states, but to the extent you’re comfortable, it’s sometimes a good idea to tell the people you work most closely with a little more — if you’re at a good firm / working with decent ppl, they should care, and may be willing to give you some extra slack/time/support.

The law is that you’re supposed to give 30 days notice and if not “as soon as practicable.” Also look into STD if you need that. I assume you’ve been at this employer for 1 year or 1250 hours? That’s the requirement for FMLA. Putting up roadblocks, unreasonably denying you, or retaliating are all illegal. HIPPA also applies. The only person who should see the filled out form is the FMLA leave coordinator. They are obligated to ensure confidentiality. They will then notify your supervisor/management that you have FMLA on file and when you’re taking it. FMLA leave can also be intermittent, it doesn’t need to be used all in one go. Once you return from leave if you’re having trouble transiting back in and it’s related to your health issue, you can then ask for an ADA reasonable accommodation. Hope all turns out okay.

^thats correct — there are certain circumstances it may apply. We treat it as GINA, esp if time is taken off for illness of a family member. Either way, it’s kept confidential, and the only information that line management gets is that “So and so employee has FMLA paperwork on file.”

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