Taking time off to care for a family member in need can be a touchy subject in the workplace. While your coworkers, friends, and family will likely feel sympathy for you, your employer may not feel the same way. That is why it’s important that you write a family emergency leave letter to inform them of the reason you need time off, when your leave starts, and when you hope to return. Leaving suddenly without giving notice or a reason for your absence may result in you coming back to find that your employer gave your job to someone else.
What Would be Considered a Family Emergency?
A family emergency would be something along the lines of:
- A death in the family
- An accident involving a family member, or the employee him/herself
- A medical issue or complication involving a family member, or the employee him/herself
Emergency family leave is an extended period of time that an employee takes off from work in order to deal with a serious family matter or health issue. Rules around emergency family leave are governed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) works like this—it provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for reasons involving birth and child care, as well as serious health conditions affecting the employee or or one of their family members.The FMLA also requires that the employee’s group health benefits be maintained during the leave.
What is a Family Emergency Leave Letter?
A family emergency leave letter serves as a form of protection for you. After writing a copy and sending it to your employer, make sure that you save a copy for your own records. You may want to send the letter via the mail and pay for delivery confirmation to ensure your employer gets the letter. This also gives you proof that you submitted the letter. Use the first paragraph to explain why you need time off, when you will leave, and any other details you think your employer needs. Include your email address and a contact number in the second paragraph so your employers can reach you.
Crafting Your Emergency Leave Letter
Our family emergency leave letter sample gives you an outline that you can follow when writing yours. Make sure that you include the following information in your family emergency leave letter:
- an email address, cell phone number, or other contact information
- the date you plan to start your leave
- a valid reason for taking time off
- the date you hope to return back to work
- your name and work details at the top of the letter
- a thank you to your employer for letting you take time off work
- some promise or guarantee that you will remain in contact
Inform Your Employers with a Family Emergency Leave Letter
Writing a family emergency leave letter is a smart way to keep employers updated about your reasons for taking time off and to ensure them that you will return. Use samples like the one we provided when drafting your family leave emergency leave letter. If you decide to remain closer to home, you can also turn to our online resume builder for help writing a new resume when applying for jobs.
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