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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So many employees of Fox Kalomaski were taking leave for “beauty treatments” that the London-based advertising agency added an extra paid day off—and execs there call it “Botox leave.” The day off happens in December, says the managing director, who speculates employees need time to “make sure they’re looking their best for the Christmas party photos.”

Question: “We have an employee currently on maternity leave who comes into work to check her e-mails, make work calls etc. This person has paperwork signed that she is on Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave for 12 weeks due to pregnancy complications.  She is currently in her third week of leave.  How should this be handled?  Are there liability issues? We do not have a doctor’s release yet for this person.” — Anonymous 

True or false: Employees are either creative or they’re not—creativity isn’t a skill you can teach. False. Managers can play a key role in creating an environment in which employees will want to look for new ideas. Share this article with your supervisors to help tap employee creativity.

Imagine this nightmare scenario: You’ve contracted with a vendor to enter personnel data into a new computer system, including employees' Social Security numbers, addresses, names of dependents, health records and bank account routing numbers. Then the vendor notifies you that employee data was somehow stolen or lost. What do you do?

The FMLA seems straightforward in theory, but in real life, it’s full of tricky and delicate nuances. For example, what happens upon the death of a relative for whom an employee on FMLA leave has been providing care? How does compassion square with the law’s requirements?

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which takes effect Oct. 3, has more employers worried about rising health insurance premiums—and looking to employee assistance programs as a way to keep costs down. The law prohibits group health plans covering 50 or more employees from imposing extraordinary coverage caps on mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Are some of your organization’s supervisors still stuck in the Dark Ages when it comes to attitudes about pregnancy, childbirth and child care? If so, your organization may be a few off-base questions away from triggering a discrimination lawsuit. Remind managers and supervisors to keep their opinions on mothers and motherhood to themselves.

The Fair Labor Standards Act says some managers may be held personally liable for unpaid wages, independent of the company’s obligation to pay. Not even a company bankruptcy halts individual liability.

Some employees think that taking FMLA leave gives them complete protection from disciplinary action. That just isn’t so. For example, when an employee takes FMLA leave, her work may have to be redistributed. If, during that process, you discover that the employee had been doing a poor job, you can take disciplinary action against her.

Under the FMLA, employers with 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the company’s work site are required to provide FMLA leave to their employees. But even if you're a small employer, innocent mistakes could make the “50/75 rule” meaningless to you — and force you to provide FMLA leave. Learn how to avoid that trap.

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