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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The DOL has issued new regulations implementing statutory changes to the FMLA that increase coverage for military families.
Q. A while ago two of our employees developed a romantic relationship. They are now expecting a baby and both put in a request for family leave to bond with their newborn. Are we required to give both workers leave for the birth of their child—even if they are not married?
Disabled employees may be en­­titled to some time off as an accommodation, but there are limits. If an employee is constantly absent when his disability makes it impossible to work, you may be able to discharge him. That’s because attendance can be an essential function of a job—and constantly missing work may show that the employee can’t perform that essential function.
In 2008, Congress expanded the FMLA to include two types of military leave: exigency leave and military caregiver leave. In 2010, Congress expanded those leave rights by applying them to the regular armed forces as well as National Guard members and reservists. Now those changes have been officially implemented with new regulations from the DOL.

What if an employee goes on FMLA leave, and you discover that co-workers have been covering up for her incompetence? Or you find that she wasn’t telling you the truth. As this new case shows, it’s legally possible to terminate her.

It’s OK to fire someone whose medical problems clearly don’t qualify as a serious health condition under the FMLA.
It can be frustrating to deal with an employee who has constant attendance problems. But if that employee has a serious health condition entitling him to FMLA leave, there’s really nothing you can do, no matter how inconvenient and disruptive his absences are.
Sometimes, pressing business matters require a supervisor or other company representative get in touch with an employee who's out on FMLA leave. As long as the contact is limited to true business needs and isn’t unduly restrictive or intrusive, the contact won’t cause you to lose an FMLA interference lawsuit.

By now, you are probably familiar with the idea your FMLA obligations are triggered when employees provide enough information for you to reasonably understand that they might need FMLA leave. They don’t need to say any “magic words.” It’s the same with requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA.

It’s a perennial puzzle: How should employers handle it when an em­­ployee has an FMLA-covered serious health condition that is also an ADA disability? Answer: Consider FMLA leave the minimum amount of un­­paid leave the employee can take.
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