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 fired for willful misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. But what is willful misconduct? The term is broad and can include all kinds of behavior, such as refusing to cooperate with an employer’s rea­­sonable request for information.
Employees who take FMLA leave are generally entitled to come back to their old jobs when they return. If you make any changes to their jobs, be sure you can document solid business reasons that are unrelated to FMLA leave.
Warn supervisors that they shouldn’t comment on the time that employees take off for medical treatments. If the underlying medical condition is a disability under the ADA, such comments may come back later to haunt the employer.
There are ways to discourage FMLA leave abuse. One is to make taking leave just a little inconvenient by requiring more than a simple call-in. You can, for example, require the employee to notify both his supervisor and someone in the HR or benefits office. That’s perfectly fine as long as everyone on intermittent leave has to do the same.
Employees are supposed to notify their employers about their need for FMLA leave as soon as is practical. When they are already out on leave with a set return date, the same rule applies if the employee will need more time off. He or she can’t just extend the leave without telling anyone and expect to keep the job.

Employees are supposed to let  employers know when they may need FMLA leave, although they don’t have to specifically mention the law. However, simply calling in to report being “sick” isn’t good enough. Not every illness is covered and run-of-the-mill sickness isn’t a “serious health condition.”

If you have a large enough HR office, it makes good sense to keep the FMLA request and approval process separate from the disciplinary process. Doing so ensures that someone with expertise in FMLA administration handles the entire process. But there is an additional benefit.

HR Law 101: Since 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act has provided eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for the birth, adoption or foster care of a child; caring for a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition; or convalescence after an employee’s own serious health condition ...

Some employees who quit for health reasons may be entitled to unemployment compensation. But that’s only true if they first give their employers a chance to consider possible accommodations.
When it comes to pregnancy announcements, the only appropriate response is a hearty “Con­­grat­­u­­lations!” Keep your thoughts on family size, birth control and other pregnancy-related concerns to yourself and warn others to follow suit.