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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Q. Before we could counsel an employee about ongoing attendance problems, she was approved for intermittent FMLA to care for her mother. However, she continues to have attendance problems unrelated to her FMLA leave. Can we proceed with counseling and possible disciplinary actions while she is under FMLA?
Employees on FMLA don’t earn protection against legitimate discipline for reasons unrelated to FMLA leave.
The FMLA is supposed to protect employees from losing their jobs when they can’t work due to a serious health condition. Minor maladies such as colds, headaches and body aches usually aren’t enough to merit protected leave. That’s true even if the employee goes to a doctor and gets a prescription, unless the health care provider also tells the worker to return within 30 days for a follow up or otherwise actively monitors the illness.
You risk a lawsuit if you don’t advise employees of their FMLA rights. Employees are entitled to individual notice so they can make informed decisions about when to return to work.
A federal district court in Texas has issued an injunction preventing—at least temporarily—the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing a final rule granting FMLA rights to legally married same-sex spouses.
Job interviews present a minefield of legal problems. One wrong question could spark a discrimination lawsuit. That's why you should never "wing it" during interviews. Instead, create a list of interview questions and make sure every question asks for job-related information that will help in the selection process. To avoid the appearance of discrimination during interviews, do not ask the following 25 questions:
Q. When an employee calls off sick for more than one day, is there a minimum amount of days off required before an employer can ask for a doctor’s note? Can we ask the specific reason for the absence?
Before rejecting a disabled employee’s request for additional time off as a reasonable accommodation, consider whether the time would allow the employee to return. If not, you probably won’t have to provide the additional leave.
Carefully track absences and note which missed days are attributable to FMLA-covered reasons. That way, should you have to terminate an employee for attendance issues, you can easily separate out FMLA.

When slapped with discipline shortly after taking FMLA leave, some employees jump to the conclusion that it’s retaliation for taking time off. That would be illegal, and could prompt a lawsuit. Don’t make their legal case easy.

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