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. What are the differences between FMLA leave, CFRA leave and PFL?

Sometimes, an employee needs just a few hours of FMLA leave to make a doctor’s appointment or to drive a relative to treatment. What if the employee wants to take the whole day off? Does the FMLA re­­quire you to extend the extra time?

The FMLA allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a parent with a serious health condition. But it’s not unheard of for employees to take advantage of the FMLA by getting time off, but then not spend it caring for mom or dad. If you learn that your employee is cheating the system, feel free to discipline him.

It’s perfectly legitimate to prohibit recreational travel during any approved, paid sick leave. If you also happen to substitute paid sick leave for unpaid FMLA leave, you can still enforce the same no-vacations policy.

If all an employee does is tell you about the diagnosis of her medical condition, that’s not enough to trigger her FMLA rights. For example, the employee can’t just state that she’s been diagnosed with depression and then, the next time she misses work, expect the time off to be automatically considered FMLA leave.
Employees who want to take additional intermittent leave under the FMLA must comply when their employer asks for recertification.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that supervisors may be subject to individual liability under the FMLA. Employers in New York should be aware that plaintiffs who allege a violation of their FMLA rights may name individual supervisors as defendants in their lawsuits.

Some employees mistakenly believe that when they take FMLA leave, they are guaranteed an unchanged job when they return. That’s not true. What the FMLA promises is that employees who take protected leave will be returned to the same or an equivalent job.

Courts seldom second-guess employers for making tough economic decisions, as long as it’s obvious those decisions were made honestly and not as a cover for discrimination. Make that clear by documenting the decisions at the time you make them.

Sometimes, an employee needs just a few hours of FMLA leave, for example, to make a doctor’s appointment or to drive a relative to treatment. The employee may find it more convenient to take the entire day off, but you don’t have to allow it. Should the employee not return after the appointment, you are free to treat the absence as unauthorized.
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