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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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When employees need intermittent FMLA leave, they are entitled to take time off free from work responsibilities. Of course, that may leave some tasks undone. Some employees, especially those in management positions, may feel obliged to work additional hours, or may sometimes forgo taking leave. As long as there’s no employer pressure to get the work done, that extra work won’t support an FMLA-interference lawsuit.

Q. An employee has requested FMLA leave to care for her 5-year-old niece who is recovering from heart surgery. The employee’s sister and her daughter live with the employee. Is leave under these circumstances protected under the FMLA?

Managing FMLA intermittent leave can be vexing, but employers do have some tools to combat leave abuse. One of the most important is FMLA certification. Here are four tips on certifying FMLA intermittent leave requests:

Here’s good news for employers trying to manage FMLA leave and prevent abuse: If an employee’s FMLA certification form is incomplete or vague, you don’t have to accept it … you can deny FMLA leave to that person. Just make sure you give the employee at least seven calendar days to correct deficiencies on the form.

Here’s good news for employers trying to manage FMLA leave and prevent abuse: If an employee’s FMLA certification form is incomplete or vague, you can deny leave as long as you gave him a chance to correct the deficiencies.
The U.S. Department of Labor last month released the Employee’s Guide to the FMLA, a 16-page booklet describing employee rights and duties under the law.
Q. One of our employees has apparently taken in his sis­­ter’s young child because his sister is undergoing cancer treatment. He wants to take FMLA leave to help the child adjust. Must we provide the leave?

Some new parents don’t want to come back to work full time after giving birth. They may prefer a part-time schedule, using intermittent FMLA leave. But you don’t have to allow intermittent leave following birth unless the infant suffers from a serious health condition.

If you suspect an employee is abusing your generous sick and disability leave benefits, consider cracking down on fraud. As long as you can document that you made a good-faith decision to punish leave abuse, a court won’t second-guess your actions.
The ADA and the FMLA work together to give options to employees with drinking problems, with the goal of helping them get sober and stay that way. If one of your employees needs treatment for alcoholism, consider both laws when approving time off or altering his schedule.
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