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 who need FMLA leave don’t have to specifically say so. They just have to give enough information to let their employers know they may have a serious health condition. That’s why you need to train supervisors to let HR handle all leave requests involving health problems of any sort.

Lawyers are always looking for new and different reasons to sue employers on behalf of employees and applicants. That’s bad news for employers, because additional charges mean greater legal costs, more lost time and potentially higher jury awards. Fortunately, courts are growing impatient with this practice ...

Employees who think they’ve suffered discrimination sometimes have a hard time finding a lawyer to represent them. Then, instead of accepting that maybe they don’t have a case worth pursuing, they file their own suits and try to represent themselves. Take those cases seriously.

Q. One of our employees is out sick and has already used up all her sick leave hours. Can we legally subtract from her vacation time instead?

In January 2009, the DOL issued new FMLA regulations that incorporated the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, which granted new leave rights to family members of employees in the military. The regulations, for the first time, defined what a “qualifying exigency” is under the law that entitles military families to take leave. Qualified exigencies are divided into seven categories:

Congress is considering emergency legislation that would guarantee five paid sick days for workers directed to stay home by their employer for a contagious illness, such as the H1N1 flu virus. Although passage is far from certain, the Emergency Influenza Containment Act is a bill worth monitoring.

Does your handbook include a formal policy regarding FMLA leave requests and absences? If so, make sure you stick to that policy. Bending the rules creates a slippery slope that could land you in court.

Some states offer more — or less — generous leave rights than the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  So if your company is covered by both federal and state law, follow the provisions of whichever law is most generous to employees.  Leave under the FMLA and state law can run concurrently, unless otherwise indicated by state law.

If an employee’s FMLA medical certification is incomplete (required information is omitted) or insufficient (the information provided is vague, ambiguous or nonresponsive), an employer is now entitled to request additional information directly from the employee’s health care provider, subject to certain key limitations.

Generally, employees aren’t entitled to FMLA leave to care for adult children who suffer from serious health conditions—unless the child is disabled. The test is whether the child suffers from a physical or mental disability that makes self-care impossible.

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