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Frequently Asked Questions Benefits for LGBT Federal Employees and Annuitants

What kind of documentation should employees submit for qualifying exigency leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? For example, if employees want to use qualifying exigency leave under FMLA to take care of their children (i.e. getting them to and from daycare due to the spouse’s deployment when that spouse used to perform this task)?

Employees are entitled to use qualifying exigency leave to take care of their children when the need arises from the covered active duty or call to covered active duty status of his or her spouse.  For example, employees can use qualifying exigency leave to arrange for alternative childcare, provide childcare on an urgent, immediate need basis, enroll in or transfer the child to a new school or daycare, and attend meetings with staff at a school or daycare facility, such as meetings with school officials regarding disciplinary measures, parent-teacher conferences, or meetings with school counselors.  Qualifying exigency leave is available for these tasks , when necessary due to circumstances arising from the covered active duty or call to covered active duty status of the spouse,  but not to regularly perform these tasks.

An agency may require that leave for any qualifying exigency be supported by a certification from the employee that sets forth the following information:

- A statement or description, signed by the employee, of appropriate facts regarding the qualifying exigency for which FMLA leave is requested.  The facts must be sufficient to support the need for leave.  Such facts include the type of qualifying exigency for which leave is requested and any available written documentation that supports the request for leave, such as a copy of a meeting announcement for informational briefings sponsored by the military, a document confirming an appointment with a counselor or school official, or a copy of a bill for services for the handling of legal or financial affairs;

- The approximate date on which the qualifying exigency commenced or will commence;

- If an employee requests leave because of a qualifying exigency for a single, continuous period of time, the beginning and end dates for such absence;

- If an employee requests leave because of a qualifying exigency on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule basis, an estimate of the frequency and duration of the qualifying exigency; and

- If the qualifying exigency involves meeting with a third party, appropriate contact information for the individual or entity with whom the employee is meeting (such as the name, title, organization, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address) and a brief description of the purpose of the meeting.

The Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division has developed an optional form (Form WH-384) to use in obtaining a certification that meets the qualifying exigency certification requirements. The DOL form is optional and reflects certification requirements so as to permit employees to furnish appropriate information to support their request for leave because of a qualifying exigency.  Agencies may use Form WH-384 or another document containing the same basic information for qualifying exigency purposes.

Please see our FMLA Qualifying Exigency Leave Fact Sheet for more information.

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