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FMLA policy: How do I draft it if few are eligible?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. Our company has 250 employees in eight states, but we have FMLA eligible employees in only one state. As I rewrite our employee handbook, I will include the mandatory FMLA language. However, I would like some input on what type of policy, if any, to include for non-FMLA eligible employees. — V.D., Oklahoma

A. That really depends on whether your company provides uniform leave policies across the company or has different rules for non-FMLA covered employees. If you provide fewer benefits for those other employees, you should not include FMLA policy language in the handbook they receive. That could lead to needless litigation from employees trying to claim that the handbook promises them FMLA leave even if they are not eligible.

If this is the case, the simple solution is to include an addendum with the FMLA language for employees in the FMLA eligible state and simply state the current company policy in the main handbook.

And always include a disclaimer in your employee handbook that clarifies that nothing in the handbook creates a contract.

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