From the Hotline: Leave to Care for Family Outside U.S.

Question: How should we handle a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave request for an employee to care for a parent who lives outside the United States? Can we request translation and notarization of paperwork?

Answer: The same leave allowance and notice requirements apply to a leave whether it is taken domestically or abroad to care for a family member with a serious health condition. You can require the employee to furnish a completed Form WH-380-F, FMLA Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition. Let your employee know that you require complete and sufficient certification in order to approve the request for the leave and that if the documentation is insufficient, the leave may be denied. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Where a certification by a foreign health care provider is in a language other than English, the employee must provide the employer with a written translation of the certification upon request.” Further information can be found at http://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/whd/fmla/12a3.aspx.