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.

For the past 15 years, complying with the FMLA has been complex, but at least the law stayed the same. On Jan. 16, that all changed. That’s the day the first major overhaul of the FMLA took effect. Here are the details.

Q. One of our employees was injured on the job. She went to the hospital the same night, had surgery and was out of work for eight days. Can we apply FMLA leave or sick leave to that time, even if she ends up being paid through workers’ comp?

Anxiety about the economy and job prospects may adversely affect some employees, especially those prone to stress-related illnesses or whose physical problems flare up when working long hours. As a result, you may see an increase in requests for FMLA leave. Be careful not to criticize employees for trying to exercise their FMLA rights ...

The EEOC recently filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against Time Insurance Agency of Austin, alleging pregnancy discrimination against a female job applicant.

Employers that can show they had decided to terminate an employee before they knew he needed FMLA leave aren’t liable for interfering with that leave. But don’t think you won’t be challenged on your timing. That’s why you must make sure you can prove exactly when you made the decision ...

Q. Does an employee have to say that she wants to “take FMLA leave” in order to satisfy the requirement that she notify her employer of her “intent to take leave”? What must an employee tell an employer to preserve her right to take FMLA leave?

Q. In our severance agreements, we typically require a terminated employee to waive all claims, including FMLA claims that could have arisen while the employee worked for us. I’ve now heard that it is improper for employers to get waivers of FMLA rights from existing employees. What should we do?

Q. We are a large company and are dealing with a situation with a sick store manager. He has used up all his FMLA leave and is still not able to return to work. Can we safely terminate his employment now?

You don’t have to ignore a sudden and shocking deterioration in an employee’s performance and behavior. You can and should ask for a fitness-for-duty exam. Just be prepared to discuss possible accommodations if it turns out the employee is disabled.

When an employee has a baby or adopts a child, it’s easy to determine that he or she is eligible for FMLA leave. But it gets murkier when the baby who needs care isn’t the employee’s own child. The FMLA regulations list eligible dependent children as those to whom the employee has “day-to-day responsibility to care for and financially support.”