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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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Employees may think that by making a request for FMLA leave, they can stop their employer’s legitimate disciplinary actions. That’s not true. Employers that can clearly establish an independent reason for discipline seldom lose an FMLA retaliation case.

Ohio law allows individuals to sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress, including cases that arise from work-related incidents. Fortunately for ­employers, uncaring or insensitive incidents don’t qualify. The circumstances must be truly outrageous.

If you must cut staff, you naturally want to terminate the least productive workers and keep the most productive ones. You could make the decision on the basis of past performance evaluations. But what if there aren’t any?

Employees who need time off for childbirth but who aren’t eligible for FMLA leave aren’t entitled to additional protection under Ohio law. You can terminate the employee if your leave policies don’t provide another way to take time off. But if the former employee is ready to return after childbirth, beware rejecting her if she tries to reapply for an open position.

Employers are technically allowed to terminate employees who don’t turn in their paperwork within 15 days of going on FMLA leave. But doing so under all circumstances may be a mistake, especially if the employee had a good reason for the delay.

Sometimes, you won’t find out about an employee’s mistakes until she’s not there to cover them up. If an employee went on vacation and you then discovered she was stealing, you wouldn’t hesitate to fire her, right? That shouldn’t change just because her absence was due to an illness.

Here’s a twist on the FMLA’s requirement to restore an employee to her previous job after she returns from leave: If an employee has been provisionally promoted but takes intermittent FMLA leave, she’s not necessarily entitled to the new job when her leave expires.

Poor communications with employees isn’t just bad for business. It also creates a work environment that’s ripe for legal trouble. Stay out of the courtroom by taking time to explain your actions and make the workplace seem rational to employees. Here's how.

Paul Falcone, author of 101 Tough Conversations to Have with Employees, offers these scripts to follow when you need to have awkward but essential conversations with employees. Here's what managers should say after they've said, "Hey, got a minute?" 

When terminating an employee, never meet one-on-one. Instead, make sure at least two company representatives are present at all times. The reason? If you meet alone, you give the employee an opportunity to put words in your mouth—words that may end up as evidence against you in court.
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