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 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.

Employees who request FMLA leave can’t be punished for doing so. That would be retaliation and interference with the right to leave. But merely asking about FMLA leave or requesting paperwork isn’t enough to form the basis of an FMLA claim.

It seems logical—employees who can’t come to work won’t be able to perform the essential functions of their jobs. It may be possible to accommodate some disabled employees by letting them work from home, but that’s not true of most jobs.

Employees who take FMLA leave are entitled to be reinstated to their jobs if they return to work when their 12 weeks off expire. But many employers provide additional time off. But if employers grant that additional leave, they don’t have to reinstate the employee to the same or an equivalent position when she returns.

You know that you can run into trouble if you treat someone as disabled when they are not. But you’re not in violation of the “perceiving as disabled” provisions of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) every time you notice an employee has a physical problem.

Q. I run a small company with fewer than 50 employees.  I was recently approached by a male employee requesting “paternity leave.”  Must I provide him paid or unpaid leave upon the birth of his newborn child?

Q. When can we deny an employee FMLA leave because of hardship? We have only two nurses, and one is going out on FMLA leave so the other must be present.

Our friends at the law firm of Fisher & Phillips LLP recently published this entertaining look at the employment law year that was. From A (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) to Z (zealously), 2009 was a busy year for those who track employment law trends.

Employees eligible for intermittent FMLA leave are entitled to take that leave at the beginning of their scheduled shifts if they need to. While that may make them late for work, you can’t punish that tardiness, as long as the employee follows your call-in policies and the underlying reason for being late is related to intermittent FMLA leave.

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