Note: state and local laws vary widely, and this is not legal advice. Consult a local labor law attorney with any questions.

Does HR need to tell a manager the reason for an employee’s medical leave?

No. With medical leaves of absence, I do not disclose the health information to a manager. I will send the manager the dates of the leaves of absence as soon as I am aware. Otherwise, I keep the health information in a separate file.

As an employee, do I need to tell my manager the reason for my medical leave?

No. It is up to you if you want to share your private health information directly with your manager.

Who at work do I need to tell about my medical leave?

If you need to take a medical leave of absence from work, you should inform your company’s HR department. You can also let them know if you’d like the reason for the leave to remain private. They’ll help you figure out your next steps.

How do I know if my employer offers medical leave?

Some states require employers offer some form of medical leave. Start by checking your employee handbook, or ask someone in your HR department.

When should I tell my manager about a medical condition?

If you need a special work accommodation because of a disability, most likely, your manager will find out. She’ll be part of the team as the company decides what reasonable accommodations they can make.
Some accommodations don’t need to involve your manager. For example, a larger computer screen for a vision-impaired employee or more space around a desk for an employee with an anxiety disorder.
Other accommodations do require your manager’s input. If you need to work from home, for example. Or if you need more days off in a year than a time off policy allows and there isn’t a leave of absence policy.
In those situations, your HR representative may need to work with your manager to figure out what to do so you don’t have to take any unpaid time off.
Remember this is not official legal advice. If you have any concerns, it’s best to consult an employment lawyer.