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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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.

Employees have no more than three years following an alleged FMLA violation to file an FMLA-interference lawsuit. And that’s only if the employer’s violation was “willful.” In most cases, they have just two years to get that lawsuit going.
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?

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.

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.
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