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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 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.

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

Hey, it happens: Sometimes, employers mess up. But they can undo much of the damage by acting fast to fix mistakes. Take this case, in which a termination letter was sent by mistake while the disciplinary process was still under way. A quick explanation and retraction saved the day.

Many employees believe that the FMLA and its state counterpart, the Minnesota Parental Leave Act (MPLA), absolutely prevent an employer from terminating someone who asks for or takes parental leave. That’s not the case.
Employees who take FMLA leave for their own serious health condition are entitled to return to their former jobs or equivalent ones once their leave is up. But if an employee still can’t perform an essential function of the old job, you may not have to reinstate him.
Sometimes an employee who complains that his supervisor is biased is absolutely right. If it turns out that a worker’s accusation of discrimination is true, don’t hesitate to fire the supervisor and move on.
Workers at two Texas health care companies are suing, alleging in separate lawsuits that their employers discriminated against them because of health-related issues. One suit claims pregnancy discrimination and FMLA interference, while the other says a worker was fired just before she was scheduled to undergo a costly surgical procedure.

Before you enter into official files your handwritten notes on conversations, recollections or thoughts about an HR decision, consider how your words might be interpreted. Best practice: Draft a memo that summarizes and fleshes out your notes—and that makes your ideas perfectly clear. Then toss out the original notes.

Here’s something to consider if you discover an FMLA leave mistake: Just fix it. If you erroneously imposed some kind of discipline for violating your attendance rules, rescind it. Chances are a court won’t hold your error against you.
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