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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Approving, certifying and tracking intermittent FMLA leave can be a royal pain, especially in industries where attendance is crucial. But employees who are otherwise eligible for intermittent FMLA leave can’t be denied that right simply because it’s inconvenient for employers.

Each year, new employment laws go on the books and courts write thousands upon thousands of decisions interpreting old laws. Yet, year after year, many HR professionals reach up onto a dusty shelf to hand new employees the same old employee handbook someone wrote years ago—too often without a second of consideration whether the contents still pass legal muster.

Here’s a basic way to avoid FMLA trouble: Before punishing employees for poor attendance, double-check to make sure that none of the time they missed included FMLA-qualifying leave. That way, there’s no question about whether FMLA leave was a factor in discipline.

Once a supervisor or manager has reason to believe an employee may qualify for FMLA leave, the company is obligated to investigate. Ignoring that obligation can be a big mistake.

Q. Several of our employees live with domestic partners. Are our employees entitled to FMLA leave to care for a partner?

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.
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