In Rodgers v. The Union Pacific Railroad Co., No. C03-0092L, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15297 (W.D.Wash. March 13, 2006) the court opined that, if proven at trial, an employee’s express disavowal of any intent or desire to utilize the protections of the FMLA would support a finding that the employee failed to request FMLA leave. The employee allegedly stated that he “did not want a Family Medical Leave” and “wanted a personal leave due to family emergency.”
Comments: All federal sector variants of the FMLA require the employee to request FMLA leave. As such, an employee who expressly declines FMLA leave in favor of some other form of available leave would not satisfy that requirement and, therefore, the leave would not receive the protections of the FMLA.