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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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.

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.
Let’s face it: It makes a manager’s job harder when employees are out on FMLA leave. That’s especially true with intermittent leave. Don’t let those hard feelings turn into an FMLA interference lawsuit. Instead, insist that managers honor approved intermittent leave without hassling the employee.
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.

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