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.

What happens if an employer discourages an employee from taking FMLA leave and instead offers more than 12 weeks off with full pay? Can the employee still sue for interference with his right to FMLA leave if he isn't reinstated to his prior position or an equivalent? The apparent answer is "yes."

Q. I have an employee who is taking leave under the FMLA. The company is continuing to pay the same portion of her health insurance premiums that we paid while she was working. If the worker fails to return to work when her protected leave expires, may the company recover the premium payments made during her leave period?

Q. Flu season is coming and we are concerned. If employees have the flu or show flu symptoms, can we require them to stay home long enough to make sure they are no longer contagious? Would we have to pay them for time away?

It’s a good idea to keep careful track of the reasons why employees take FMLA leave—especially if an employee takes leave on different occasions for different reasons.

Employers can’t punish or otherwise hold it against employees for taking FMLA leave—that’s interfering with FMLA rights, and it’s illegal. That’s why it’s important to exclude FMLA leave when making any disciplinary decisions based on employee absences.

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit accusing the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts and N.C. Superior Court Judge Jerry Braswell of violating former Magistrate James Myles’ rights under USERRA.

Q. One of our employees has been out on FMLA leave for seven weeks taking care of his sick mother in another state. We approved a full 12 weeks of leave. I received a voice mail from him saying that his mother died. He also said that he had to clear up a lot of things with his mother’s estate, but that he would be back by the end of his scheduled leave. Can he do that, or can I tell him he needs to come back sooner?

Q. How long do I have to keep employees’ personnel files after their terminations?

Q. Our company’s attendance policy calls for issuing a warning when an employee has three absences. Five absences result in a suspension, and seven absences result in termination. Can we continue this policy?

Here’s a risk you’ll run into if you refuse to let an employee take time off to care for a child she says has a serious health condition that requires her care: If you guess wrong and the case goes to trial, it’s up to the jury to decide whether the child’s condition rose to the serious level.