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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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.
Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave during each 12-month period. But lawsuits often hinge on one question: Which 12 months? It’s the employer’s duty to let employees know how much leave they’re entitled to or have al­­ready taken.
You work like a dog for the organization every day. You stay up at night trying to keep pace with the constantly changing rules and regulations of employment law. You’re even called to put your own career on the line when the organization is hauled into court. Why is that?

Businesses must stay abreast of an alphabet soup of federal laws—ADA, ADEA, FMLA and so forth—each with its own requirements. Further complicating matters, most states have their own laws that override the federal requirements. To comply, you first must know which laws apply to your business, based on the number of people you employ ...

Do you assign light-duty work to some employees returning from FMLA leave? If so, here’s a warning: You can’t cut off their job-protection rights by counting light-duty work time against their FMLA entitlement, according to the most recent FMLA regulations.
Regular attendance is obviously a key job function for most of your employees. But despite your freedom to set and enforce attendance rules, you also face key legal hurdles to your attendance policy, including complying with the FMLA and ADA. Manage absenteeism by establishing a reasonable and specific attendance policy that incorporates your organization’s needs and the functional requirements of various work areas and employee functions. A sound attendance policy should cover all of the following:
Employers can use several methods to calculate FMLA leave, including some that can get complicated. That’s one reason FMLA regulations require em­­ployers to let employees know how much leave they are entitled to.

Employees who take FMLA leave don’t enjoy greater protection than anyone else when it comes to reductions in force. If a position would have been eliminated regardless of whether the employee took FMLA leave, then the termination doesn’t violate the law. On the other hand, it’s dangerous to change who is scheduled to be laid off after learning that an em­­ployee plans to take FMLA leave.

It’s certainly possible to terminate an employee who returns from FMLA leave—if you have good reasons un­­related to the FMLA.
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