On appeal, the Third Circuit reversed this holding with the Court stating that the Plaintiff’s “verbal” notice was sufficient to entitle him to a claim under benefits through the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), even if he had not followed the Company’s policies.  This is a somewhat disturbing development for employers, because it raises many issues about the type of “verbal” notice an employee can give, and “muddies the waters” as to a company’s ability to require its employees to follow its written policies regarding disability benefits. 

For example, if an employee leaves a voice mail message on the Human Resource’s voice mail requesting FMLA leave, is that sufficient to put the company on notice?  This question will need to be answered in subsequent cases.