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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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.

Employees who know they are in trouble often try to protect themselves by asking for FMLA leave. That tactic might work only if the employee can show he was eligible for it.

When an employee threatens litigation, take your time building the case against him. Make sure you base your decision on solid facts. Double-check to see that there’s no way the employee can claim you singled him out for unfair or inequitable treatment. Then rest easy, knowing that if you’re sued, you can counter the allegations with facts and get the case dismissed quickly.

The state legislature is considering a bill that would require all employers to provide up to 12 weeks of paid time off so employees can tend to very ill family members or take care of newborns or newly adopted children.

Every HR pro has to deal with especially difficult and argumentative employees now and then. You may believe an employee is having emotional problems—maybe even a diagnosable mental disorder. But don’t mention your suspicions. You would risk being charged with regarding him as disabled, which gives the employee protections under the ADA or state disability-bias law.

Under the FMLA, only employers that have 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the company’s work site are required to provide FMLA leave to their employees. The requirement is commonly known as the “50/75 rule.” Can an employer that has fewer than 50 employees within 75 miles of the company’s work site willingly agree to provide its employees with FMLA rights and benefits? That situation recently occurred in Reaux v. Infohealth Management Corp.

An Ohio appeals court has issued a common-sense decision that shows you have the right to expect employees to show up for work. It said that absenteeism is just cause for termination and disqualifies the employee from getting unemployment benefits.