D: Designation:  OK, this one is technical.  We’ve covered it before, but it bears, umm, repeating!  Here’s the bottom line: if all the criteria are met (your employee is eligible; the health condition is serious and certified; they have time available; the relationship is qualifying), then you designate this absence.  Simply stated, to Designate is to Deduct time as FMLA.  Once you have decided this absence will be designated… here comes another letter!  You’ll need to explain this designation along with all the rest: how much time is used and remaining, any return-to-work requirements, the Rights and Responsibilities notice (again!), and finally, any additional obligations around paying premiums during periods of unpaid time.

Check out page 3 of this DOL Fact Sheet – super helpful: https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28d.pdf .