Q. An employee told her supervisor that she needed surgery. We approved time off under the FMLA with the understanding that she would provide certification after the leave began. We later discovered that this “necessary” procedure was liposuction. Can we revoke approval of medical leave under FMLA and convert sick hours used to vacation hours instead? Can we fire her based on inappropriate use of the FMLA? —T.S., Florida
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. Can the time spent on workers' comp leave be counted against family and medical leave? —D.H., Arizona
Q. One of my employees has been out on FMLA leave for seven weeks taking care of his sick father in another state. The leave was approved for a full 12 weeks. I received a voice mail from him saying that his father died. He also said that he had to clear up a lot of things with his father's estate, but that he would be back by the end of his scheduled leave. Can he do that or can I tell him he needs to come back sooner? —V.S.
The FMLA allows employees to take job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of their child. But can an employee legally take FMLA leave when his or her child is having a baby? In most situations, the answer is "no." But that's not always the case ...
Q. Many of my employees request FMLA leave to return to their native countries to care for sick relatives, or they request personal medical leave due to a “sudden illness” that occurs while visiting those countries. In some cases, these countries don’t have regulated physicians. Documents can be easily obtained from any street vendor. Are U.S. employers required to accept these documents? —L.W.
Q. Are holidays that fall within the scheduled FMLA leave counted as leave? —L.F., Washington
Q. We have an employee on intermittent FMLA leave who periodically faints at work, is carried away in an ambulance, is off for a few days and then returns. Her position is critical. Do we have to continue with these absences? —R.R., Massachusetts
Q. One of our employees is having cosmetic surgery and plans to take leave. Would that fall under the FMLA, or would it be a leave of absence? —K.H., Connecticut
Q. We understand that employees on FMLA leave don't lose investment toward retirement plans. Leave time is counted as work time. But our policy says that if employees are out for more than 30 days, their anniversary dates will change. Accrued paid-time off and vacation time will be based on the new anniversary date. Can we do this? —K.A., Connecticut
Q. An employee took FMLA leave Sept. 1 due to job stress. In October, she had an operation for carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers' comp ruled that her absence was work-related and it dated her workers' comp claim back to Sept. 3. So, they're now saying that her FMLA leave won't start until she is officially released from workers' comp. Do we need to keep a job open for her indefinitely? —F.W., Nevada