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.
Before approving FMLA leave, an employer can require medical certification of the need for leave. But when it’s time for the employee to return from leave, employers can’t demand additional evaluations beyond the certification a doctor supplies showing the employee is ready to resume work. But what if the employer worries that the employee really can’t perform her job?
Q. An abusive boyfriend sent nude photos of one of our employees to other employees. We’ve deleted everything from our server and blocked his email. But now we have complaints from other employees that we should have fired the employee. We did not. In fact, we let her take FMLA leave due to the depression she suffered. How should we handle these co-worker complaints?
When an employee requests time off for an FMLA-related reason, you should inform her she may be eligible and provide information on how to request leave. But sometimes, the employee may not want to use FMLA leave. Don’t force her.
Q. Under Texas law, if I have an employee returning from maternity leave, do I have to give her the same job hours as before her leave? The reason for the reduction in hours is due to sales being down.
An eligible employee receives up to 12 weeks job-protected leave for a covered reason whether the employer likes it or not. But that doesn’t mean that the employee can never be fired while on leave—as long as you would have done so even if she hadn’t taken FMLA leave.
Some employees seem to believe that every minor illness is grounds for FMLA leave. If it’s clear an absence is for an illness not covered by the FMLA, say so. That way, an employee can’t later argue that he was unfairly denied leave when you include the absence in the disciplinary process.
Some employees aren’t quite ready to return from FMLA leave after their 12 weeks are up. How you handle their request can make the difference between winning and losing a discrimination lawsuit.
Q. We have an employee who has been out with a work-related back injury for more than six months. We have not received any indication from her doctor about when she will be able to return. Must we keep her on workers’ compensation leave status indefinitely? Do we have to indefinitely hold open her job?
Disabled employees who return to work before fully healed may be eligible for light-duty positions or other modifications as reasonable accommodations. However, employers that allow leave until the employee is fully healed don’t have that obligation.
It may be a reasonable accommodation to grant additional time off after a disabled employee has used up her FMLA entitlement and other leave. But what if the disabled employee wants a gradual return to work, easing back in by working part time?