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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Employers are generally free to set their own rules for when and to whom employees must call to report that they will unexpectedly have to miss work. But thanks to a recent 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals decision, that’s now far less certain.

Some employers mistakenly believe that women who want to use FMLA leave when they become pregnant can’t demand intermittent leave. Managers may be confusing FMLA provisions that apply to the time leading up to the birth of a child with those that apply to the time after the child is born (or adopted).

Sometimes HR professionals go to bat for employees when they think the company may be overstepping legal boundaries or generally not doing “the right thing.” But those activities aren’t necessarily protected, meaning HR pros can’t claim retaliation if they are punished afterward.

When you grant an employee FMLA leave to care for a sick relative, do you wonder what type of “care” they must really be giving to qualify for time off under the FMLA? A new court ruling defines care as being in physical proximity to the relative. Cutting a lawn in a different time zone doesn’t cut it …

Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave to care for a seriously ill son or daughter. That’s true for young children, of course, but also for those older than 18 who are “incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.” Don’t split hairs on this.

Disabled employees or those who need FMLA leave aren’t immune from following work rules. But think carefully before you punish them. It is possible to terminate an employee who has announced he needs time off or an accommodation. How­ever, you must have a legitimate rea­son—and you must be able to demonstrate that the company acted in good faith.

It’s often quite obvious when an em­­ployee is having personal problems that she needs to resolve. But employers have to treat such an employee carefully to avoid a possible ADA regarded-as-disabled lawsuit. The key is patience and focusing on workplace performance issues rather than any suspected disability.

To avoid needless litigation, make sure someone else sits in on termination meetings.
Some employees assume that they’ll automatically return to their old positions after taking FMLA and other leave. That’s not necessarily true. Employers are required to guarantee return only if the employee comes back before her 12 weeks of FMLA leave expire.
Some employees need FMLA leave to cope with work stress. But that doesn’t mean that employers can’t punish someone who makes threats.
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