if an employee has a death in the family and is not covered under FMLA are we required to hold his job or is holding his job up to the dicretion of the employer? The employee will be gone 2-3 out of the country. He has only been with the company for 3 months
10/19/2010 4:17:51 PM EDT
Bereavement does not fall under the FMLA purview, whether that employee has been employed by the company within the stipulated eligibility requirements (1 year/1250 hours) or not. Even if an FMLA leave had been granted to an eligible employee to care for a family member, the FMLA leave would end upon the death of that family member. This is a bereavement issue. If a company does not offer bereavement leave, an employer could help an employee through this difficult time through PTO or vacation time or a short upaid leave, assessed on a case-by-case basis. One loophole is that if the employee does not tell you if and when the family member died, you would never know if and when that the leave should have ended. Anyone have an answer to that scenario? Do you make it clear that the leave does not cover bereavement or wrapping up an estate and risk that the employee will not disclose the real situation--that the leave should have ended sooner?