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FMLA Guidelines

We’ll assist you in tracking and managing intermittent FMLA leave … fighting FMLA fraud and FMLA abuse … and managing FMLA in general.

Beyond mastering FMLA regulations on intermittent leave, we’ll share FMLA guidelines on how to curb FMLA abuse, and dramatically improve your overall FMLA compliance.

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Employees who suffer from disabilities as defined in the ADA or serious health conditions as defined in the FMLA enjoy some job protections. But those protections are not unlimited.
You can require employees seeking FMLA leave to have their health care provider submit a certification form estimating how long the medical condition will last. If that or any other part of the certification is left blank, the employer can request clarification.
While adverse actions such as termination are classic examples of retaliation and dissuasion, other acts may also make the cut. For example, a concerted campaign to make fun of or humiliate someone who takes FMLA leave may also violate the law.
Employers don’t have to comply with the FMLA unless they employ 50 or more employees. However, they can’t escape being covered by creating smaller, wholly owned enterprises.
An employee who makes a request for an ADA reasonable accommodation and is punished for doing so may have a retaliation claim. But she has to actually believe in good faith that the accommodation she is requesting will work.
Not every employee who needs FMLA leave has to take a continuous block of time off. They may need short amounts of leave to go to medical appointments, check in for brief hospital treatments or deal with flare-ups of their medical conditions. That’s what FMLA intermittent leave is for.
Make sure you have job descriptions for all employees’ positions. Then keep those descriptions updated whenever the duties change.
Here are  updates on the interaction between the FMLA and the ADA, and on the U. S. Department of Labor’s new guidance on the FLSA and higher educational institutions.
It is essential to grant FMLA leave when eligible employees need it. At the same time, it is perfectly legal to require employees to follow specific procedures for using leave. Just make sure employees understand those rules.
You can’t require employees to work when they are out on FMLA leave. However, you can offer them the option of doing some work, as long as it is not presented as a condition of continued employment.
A federal court in Texas has concluded that attendance can be considered an essential function of a job. A disabled worker who can’t make it to work with some regularity simply isn’t qualified; no amount of accommodation can fix that problem.
Generally, time spent on FMLA leave can’t be counted against an employee when, for example, tallying absences under a no-fault attendance program. However, calculations to figure a production bonus don’t have to “forgive” work missed because of FMLA leave.
Company supervisors who make family leave decisions and manage FMLA administration can be held personally liable for violations. Until now, it was unclear in California whether that liability extended to supervisors who administer the FMLA at public agencies. It is now clear it does.
The first in-person treatment with a health care professional must take place within seven days of the initial illness or injury that rendered the worker incapable of performing his job. Otherwise, the regulations assume the condition isn’t a serious health condition. Thus, the worker would not be entitled to FMLA leave.
Nothing in the FMLA specifically prohibits employees who take FMLA leave from moonlighting for another employer. But as long as employers clearly communicate it, it’s perfectly fine to enforce a no-moonlighting policy against any employee, including those who take FMLA leave.
When an employee is injured on the job, what you do—and when you do it—can determine not only how quickly the employee will return to work but also whether he or she will return at all.
Is your HR office short-handed? That could spell big trouble, especially if supervisors have to handle personnel matters without HR’s help. Short-staffed or not, make sure bosses know they must consult HR on key employment law issues.
When an employee requests time off for an FMLA-related reason, you should inform her she may be eligible and provide information on how to request leave. But sometimes, the employee may not want to use FMLA leave. Don’t force her.

Employees who take FMLA leave are not immune to discipline discovered while they are out on FMLA leave or after they return to work.

Follow these guides to crafting your company's sick-leave policy.

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