In Milman v. Feiger & Feiger, P.C. (6th Cir., No. 21-2685, 01/25/2023), Milman sued the employer law firm, alleging the employer violated the FMLA when it terminated her immediately after she requested unpaid leave to care of her son. The Sixth Circuit reversed and remanded the trial court’s order dismissing Milman’s FMLA claim. The record showed that during Milman’s time working from home, her son became ill with symptoms resembling COVID-19. She contacted the employer to request more time to work from home but the employer denied her request and demanded she return to the office. Her son’s condition did not improve, and Milman instead requested to take unpaid leave. The employer terminated Milman. On appeal, the court looked at whether Milman’s request for leave was a protected right under the FMLA. Here, Milman never actually took the unpaid leave – she only requested it. The court explained the FMLA requires employees to put their employer on notice of their desire to use their unpaid leave by making a formal request to the employer. To do so, the steps of the process created by the FMLA include the employee’s initial request for leave, which must be a protected activity under the FMLA. The court found Milman’s request for unpaid leave was protected. Further, the court noted the request to leave need not lead to entitlement to be protected.