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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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Intermittent FMLA leave can be a pain, especially in industries where attendance is crucial. That’s particularly true in nursing and related fields. But employees who are otherwise eligible for intermittent FMLA leave can’t be denied that right merely because it’s inconvenient for employers ...

Do you sometimes grant employees “­special leave” to take care of their school-age kids? Beware if you allow special leave for mothers in your workplace, but not for fathers. One court just warned, “A company’s ‘special leave’ not grounded in law just may be discriminatory.”

You probably know that when a disabled employee has used up all his FMLA leave entitlement, he may still be entitled to reasonable accommodations under the ADA. It’s legitimate to offer additional leave as a reasonable accommodation. However, at some point, time off can be a burden for employers, especially when the employee can’t estimate when he will be ready to return. In that case, it may be time to terminate the employee.

Employees may need some time off to get their FMLA serious-health-condition forms certified. But that doesn’t mean they can stop showing up for work and ignore company call-in requirements during that time.
Here’s something to watch out for when approving a supervisor’s recommendation to discipline or discharge an employee. If the employee has requested FMLA leave and was previously performing well, be suspicious of claims she’s now performing poorly.
Q. Some of our employees routinely ask to use FMLA when they are five or 10 minutes late. It’s a scheduling nightmare and hurts morale. Does the FMLA cover employees who are consistently tardy?
An employee who takes FMLA leave is entitled to return to his job (or an equivalent one) when his leave is up if he can perform that job without any accommodation. However, if the employee is disabled under the ADA, he may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under that law.

Here’s a basic way to avoid FMLA trouble: Before punishing an employee for poor attendance, double-check whether any of the time she’s missed was for FMLA leave. That way, there’s no question about whether FMLA leave was a factor in discipline.

Q. Does an employee who wants to take FMLA leave have to specifically ask for it by name?
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that there is a three-year time limit for employees to file FMLA claims in federal court. It said ­workers have three years from the time their rights were allegedly violated, even if the worker was demoted and lost pay or benefits still affecting her paycheck today.
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