Never assume that employees won't return from FMLA leave — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Never assume that employees won't return from FMLA leave

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Sometimes, when an employee departs for FMLA leave, you’re almost positive that he or she is incapable of returning to work before the allotted 12 weeks expire. You might as well start processing her termination papers a few days early, right? Not so fast, one court says. If you jump the gun and pre-process the termination—even one day before the FMLA leave ends—you may be triggering liability …

Case in Point: Nancy Cutting, an HR rep for a Michigan manufacturing firm, requested FMLA leave due to complications in her pregnancy and gallstone surgery. Cutting was due back to work exactly 12 weeks after her leave began.

However, just before her return date, she contacted her supervisor to ask for an additional 10 days, saying her doctor wouldn’t let her return until then. (That would extend her leave beyond the 12-week FMLA limit). Her supervisor allegedly said, "No problem" to the request. But, in fact, the company began process...(register to read more)

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