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.

Q. We are a small business, with only 12 full-time employees and a smattering of on-again, off-again part-timers. When an employee leaves, do we have to provide a COBRA notice?

Sometimes, employees think they’re sick enough to qualify for FMLA leave, but their doctors don’t. Other times, medical staff filling out the medical forms makes mistakes. Either way, if you get a certification or doctor’s note explaining that the employee can work, you are under no obligation to get more information. Instead, you can rely on that “negative” FMLA certification and deny leave.

In Pennsylvania, employers that make a promise that an employee reasonably relies on may be liable if that promise isn’t fulfilled and the employee suffers harm as a result. This quasi-contract theory has FMLA implications ...

Employers ask for trouble when they ask workers to violate doctor’s orders. Train supervisors to honor medical restrictions. It will help the company in workers’ comp cases as well as ADA and FMLA situations. The following case illustrates the perils of playing fast and loose with physician certifications recommending light duty.

Q. If a company tracks employees’ vacation, sick and personal time off, can we make deductions from accumulated time for everyone who takes time off, including salaried employees? I’m talking about deducting it from the accrual, not the pay. I’ve heard that I can’t deduct vacation, sick leave or personal time if the salaried employee worked at least four hours during that day.

Employers have to let their employees know about the FMLA so they can take advantage of the leave guaranteed by the law. But if an employee doesn’t take advantage of his FMLA rights, the employer can’t be held liable for not providing leave even if it turns out the employee was eligible.

Employers don’t have to blindly accept their employees’ medical certifications. The FMLA allows you to get a second opinion about whether an employee's request qualifies for leave ... If the two certifications don’t agree, you can get a third and final certification to break the tie. But what happens during the interim?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have for years predicted that a virulent influenza outbreak could kill tens of thousands, hospitalize hundreds of thousands and sicken millions. Regardless of how the swine flu crisis plays out, it should be a wake-up call for employers. If you haven’t already, now is the time to undertake pandemic planning efforts.

A new EEOC document spells out the best practices employers should follow to avoid discriminating against workers who care for ill family members, an issue that's especially critical in a down economy. Follow our links to download your copy of this important EEOC guidance.

The FMLA grants 12 weeks of unpaid leave to handle a serious medical condition. Military family caregiver leave rules provide for 26 weeks off. But what happens when an employee can invoke both, for example, when she must care for a wounded military spouse while she is pregnant?