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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Q. One of our managers resigned a month ago, but she applied for FMLA leave a day before she quit. Are we under any obligation to return her to a position from which she resigned? Are we obligated to offer her a job when FMLA expires?

Absenteeism is a big problem for many employers. If you suspect that some employees are taking advantage of your leave programs, you can and should come up with a plan to catch them, as one employer recently did.

Most pregnancies proceed normally, with little or no real trouble for the mother. However, that’s not always the case. When things go wrong, the mother-to-be may be entitled to reasonable accommodations under the ADA. That’s true even if she hasn’t worked for her employer long enough to be eligible for FMLA leave.

Ill-chosen words can haunt incautious supervisors. Example: Using the term “slacker” to describe someone who misses lots of work. Here’s why: Disparaging comments may be proof that the employer retaliated against an employee for taking too much leave.
Is it protected activity that can’t be punished if an employee who is not yet eligible asks to take FMLA leave? Put another way, can an employer fire an employee who requests FMLA leave before the employee is actually eligible? A federal court has said, “No!” That’s illegal retaliation.
Make sure that whoever in your organization handles FMLA and other leave knows to contact HR as soon as a leave request comes in. Then make sure you send out the appropriate FMLA paperwork along with any other required documents.
Once an employee has used up FMLA and other leave, requiring employees to show up and get their work done is a reasonable expectation. In the following case, the court reasoned that the employer could consider attendance when deciding personnel cuts, as long as it didn’t use FMLA leave as a factor.
Employees who take FMLA leave are entitled to return to the same or an equivalent position after their leave has expired. But that doesn’t mean management can’t alter minor job duties.
If, like many employers, you offer employees more than the required 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave in any given year, you may have a powerful response to a disability or FMLA discrimination lawsuit.

Employees are supposed to get FMLA certifications back to their employers within 15 days. But it’s not a good idea to terminate an employee simply because you didn’t receive the paperwork on time. The FMLA regulations include an out for employees who miss the deadline for reasons beyond their control.

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