Q. An employee took FMLA leave Sept. 1 because of job stress. In October, she had an operation for carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers’ comp ruled that her absence was work-related and it dated her workers’ comp claim back to Sept. 3. So, they’re now saying that her FMLA leave won’t start until she is officially released from workers’ comp. Do we need to keep a job open indefinitely for her?
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.
Some HR departments are notorious for keeping every stack of paper indefinitely, while others fail to keep enough. Neither approach is acceptable, and it’s up to you to maintain a happy medium that complies with the law. Proper record-keeping is one of an HR professional’s core duties. Knowing what legally must be kept and for how long are important aspects of that duty.
Employees who quit aren’t generally entitled to unemployment compensation. However, there’s an exception for employees who quit “because of a good reason caused by the employer”—if the employees first give employers a chance to correct the problem. One reason that’s not good enough: a schedule change.
When an employee is out on FMLA leave, employers have to be careful about balancing their need for full staffing so they can get the work done and the worker’s right to take leave. If missed work poses a problem, the best approach is to focus on specific work deficiencies that aren’t related to FMLA-protected absences.
Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania’s senior senator, switched parties from Republican to Democrat in April, and now he’s changed his mind about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). His support for pending legislation to repeal DOMA, which limits federal government recognition of same-sex marriage, could be crucial—and could affect HR.
Employees who suffer from some psychological disorders may need a less stressful environment. But if being stressed out at work is the only impairment the underlying condition causes, chances are they won’t meet the definition of “disabled” under the ADA. Therefore they aren’t entitled to an ADA accommodation.
You never know which employee is going to be the one who will sue over discipline. But one thing is certain: When she does, you’ll need every bit of documentary evidence you can find to justify your decision.
Many employers believe that if an employee needs accommodations for a disability that’s related to the same serious health condition covered by the FMLA, they don’t have to provide any additional leave once the employee has used 12 weeks of FMLA leave. That’s not always true. In fact, additional unpaid leave after FMLA leave has been exhausted may be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.
Employees often claim their jobs stress them out. And for some, it’s so bad they feel they need to take off work for a week or so to cope. That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re automatically entitled to use FMLA leave.
Attorneys seem intent on finding some form of discrimination in every adverse employment decision—and courts seem increasingly inclined to go along. Consider this recent case, in which a pregnant black employee won the right to a jury trial on race and national-origin discrimination based on the allegation that a white pregnant employee was treated better.