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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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Sometimes, an employee needs just a few hours of FMLA leave, for example, to make a doctor’s appointment or to drive a relative to treatment. The employee may find it more convenient to take the entire day off, but you don’t have to allow it. Should the employee not return after the appointment, you are free to treat the absence as unauthorized.
An employer that can show it would have terminated an employee for lack of work or another business reason can do so during FMLA leave. However, it must be able to offer clear, documented proof showing the move wasn’t related to the leave.
Employees who want to take additional intermittent leave under the FMLA must comply when their employer asks for recertification.
Here’s something to watch out for when approving a supervisor’s recommendation to discipline or discharge an employee. If the employee has re­­quested FMLA leave and was previously performing well, be suspicious of claims that she’s now performing poorly.
Q. Two of our employees live together but are not married. They want to take FMLA leave at the same time after their child is born. Since they work in the same section, doing similar work, this would be a big problem. If they were married, we could make them share the 12 weeks. Can we force them to do the same even if they aren’t married?
Do you get nervous and sweaty when an employee asks for leave to help care for a sick family member? You know this could count as FMLA leave. But what kind of “needed care” is really needed to be eligible for FMLA leave? A new court ruling further helped define the boundaries …

Approving, certifying and tracking intermittent FMLA leave can be a royal pain, especially in industries where attendance is crucial. But employees who are otherwise eligible for intermittent FMLA leave can’t be denied that right simply because it’s inconvenient for employers.

Each year, new employment laws go on the books and courts write thousands upon thousands of decisions interpreting old laws. Yet, year after year, many HR professionals reach up onto a dusty shelf to hand new employees the same old employee handbook someone wrote years ago—too often without a second of consideration whether the contents still pass legal muster.

Here’s a basic way to avoid FMLA trouble: Before punishing employees for poor attendance, double-check to make sure that none of the time they missed included FMLA-qualifying leave. That way, there’s no question about whether FMLA leave was a factor in discipline.

Once a supervisor or manager has reason to believe an employee may qualify for FMLA leave, the company is obligated to investigate. Ignoring that obligation can be a big mistake.
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