The FMLA Helps Those Who Help Themselves: Employees May Decline the FMLA's Protection

October 2014
Employment Law Notes
When employees take leave to care for their own or a family member’s serious medical condition, they are often entitled to the protection of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA” or “Act”). But what if an FMLA-eligible employee expressly declines to use FMLA leave? The Ninth Circuit recently answered that question in Escriba v. Foster Farms Poultry, Inc., 743 F.3d 1236 (9th Cir. 2014) and held that employees are free to decline FMLA leave, but if they do so they are not entitled to the protections of the Act.