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. We approved an employee to take FMLA leave to care for her seriously ill father. The problem is that her supervisor has shared the details of the dad’s illness with other employees. This is a breach of confidentiality. The employee has complained. What should happen to the supervisor?
If you were going to terminate an employee before you learned she wanted FMLA leave, you still can. Just be sure you can document when and why the termination decision was made.
Employees on FMLA leave sometimes think they’re immume from being discharged. That’s not true. As long as FMLA leave isn’t a factor in the decision, you can fire those on leave.
Publication of the new DOL guide to employees’ FMLA rights signals an opportunity for employers to take a fresh look at this sometimes confusing law. It’s a golden opportunity to remind employees how their company leave policies mesh with the FMLA.
Q. When an employee returns from maternity leave, do we have to give her the very same job she had or can she be put to work in a different type of position?

Generally, employees claiming they suffered retaliation after engaging in protected activity—such as complaining about discrimination or taking protected FMLA leave—must show that the retaliation would have dissuaded a reasonable employee from complaining or taking leave. The hypothetical reasonable employee standard isn’t very specific.

Make sure someone other than the supervisor who ordinarily disciplines an employee is responsible for approving and administering FMLA leave. By separating those functions, you minimize the risk that an employee might be able to connect FMLA leave with an adverse action such as termination.

Employees on FMLA leave are entitled to be left alone. Super­visors shouldn’t send work home with the employee or call constantly to check up. That could be considered FMLA leave interference. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t get in touch with the em­­ployee about important and urgent matters or enforce your broader call-in policies.

The FMLA is difficult to administer, especially now that it has been amended to include additional time off in connection with military service. Plus, new FMLA regulations make more workers eligible for leave if they care for a child. Rest assured that if you promptly fix an innocent mistake when it’s brought to your attention, you won’t be automatically liable for FMLA interference.

Some employees abuse their rights under the FMLA and try to take time off to which they aren’t entitled. Take, for example, an employee who takes an unscheduled trip to his doctor’s office and claims that time as FMLA leave. It isn’t.
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