Even as we watch the stock market slowly recover, organizations are still laying off employees and searching for ways to cut overhead. If your organization is eliminating even one job, plan it carefully. A hasty layoff can create legal problems that cost more down the road than keeping the employee would have. Here are 10 things to consider:
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.
Employees who are having work troubles sometimes think they can prevent being fired by asking for FMLA leave. Their ace in the hole if they are fired: They can always sue for retaliation under the FMLA. That only works if those responsible for the termination decision actually know that the employee has asked for FMLA leave ...
Q. We received a note from an employee’s physician simply stating that she was ill. On one occasion, she had to go to the emergency room from work, and she subsequently called in sick one day about a month or two later. Is this sufficient notice under the FMLA to require us to regard this as a request for extended FMLA leave?
Q. We have an exempt administrative employee who is on intermittent FMLA leave. She’s unable to work on Fridays for two or three hours due to a serious health condition. By policy, she must use any accrued sick leave when she is out sick, typically in whole-day increments. Can we charge her sick time in hourly intervals because she is utilizing FMLA intermittent leave even if we charge her in larger blocks when she is just plain sick?
Q. I am the HR manager of a company with about 350 employees. I have just learned that the company is eliminating one product line and, as a result, there will be a layoff in that department. One of the employees who would be laid off is on FMLA leave. How do I handle this situation? ...
Family-friendly practices have suddenly taken a back seat as struggling businesses focus on the bottom line. Now employers are looking for other ways to give employees time off, albeit involuntarily. But when employers impose furloughs, forced shutdowns and reduced work schedules on exempt salaried employees in increments of other than a full week, it can jeopardize exemptions under the FLSA.
One criterion for employees to be eligible for FMLA leave is that they must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the FMLA leave. That’s why it’s important to track employees’ hours, even hours worked by exempt employees, too.
New FMLA regulations went into effect in January. Now is an excellent time to offer everyone in management a refresher course in what the FMLA requires. If managers remain ignorant of the new rules—or the old ones still in place—you increase the risk that an employee will charge them with willful violations.