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.

Q. Should we pay for travel time if the employee's drive from home to the first job site is a very long distance (example: Los Angeles to San Diego)? —L.S., California

Q. A pregnant employee eligible for FMLA wants to take the 12 weeks of leave. Our leave policy says an employee on FMLA must first use his or her sick, vacation and personal leave, in that order, before the leave is unpaid. In this case, the employee has enough sick leave for the 12 weeks. But should she be allowed to use sick leave for the entire 12 weeks? Is this in our best interest? —M.P., Texas

The FMLA doesn’t forbid you to fire employees after they return from FMLA leave, or even while they’re on it. You’re simply prohibited from firing them because they took FMLA leave ...

Q. I’ve heard that not all industries are covered by the FMLA. Are trucking companies exempt? If so, we have several employees out on workers’ compensation and FMLA leave. Can we fire them? —T.Z., New York

Q. One of our full-time employees, age 60, is ill and expected to be out six months. We'd like to make her position part time, because we need to hire an additional part-timer in another department. Essentially, we'd like to split her full-time job into two part-time positions. Is this legal? —D.H., Texas

The FMLA’s notice provision requires employees, to be eligible for FMLA leave, to let their employers know that they suffer from a serious health condition. Merely telling a supervisor “I’m sick” doesn’t cross to the threshold of a legitimate FMLA notice. But it's important for supervisors to know that employees, on the other hand, don’t need to say something as explicit as “I need FMLA leave because I have X illness” ...

Q. If an employee calls off intermittently for migraine headaches, how can we verify the real reason for the leave? Can we ask for information each time the employee is absent? —J.M., Illinois

If you use leased employees, you're not required to manage their FMLA leave. That's the leasing company's responsibility as the person's primary employer ...

If you have a progressive-discipline policy in your employee handbook, it’s legally wise to follow it carefully with all employees. If you deviate from it and fire a worker quickly, be prepared to provide a good reason ...

Many employers offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) to help employees with personal problems. But be aware that if you communicate directly with counselors who take employees' calls, you may trigger legal liabilities under both the ADA and the FMLA. That's especially true if an EAP counselor suggests that the employee needs time off or some other accommodation ...