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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Q. Our company has 250 employees in eight states, but we have FMLA eligible employees in only one state. As I rewrite our employee handbook, I will include the mandatory FMLA language. However, I would like some input on what type of policy, if any, to include for non-FMLA eligible employees.

Some employees think they’re entitled to FMLA leave for every family emergency. They’re wrong. You should only grant leave requests based on legitimate reasons and reject clearly frivolous ones. You should also require employees to follow your rules and provide adequate notice.

Are you thinking about terminating an employee for good business reasons, but know he needs to take FMLA leave? While you can legally discharge him, he could challenge the termination as interference with the right to FMLA. But what if you allowed him to take FMLA leave and told him not to return?

Employers are used to breathing a sigh of relief when 300 days pass without learning that a former employee has filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC or the New York State Division of Human Rights. They assume that missing the deadline means the employee won’t be able to sue. Not so fast!

When firing an employee, always note exactly when you decided to terminate her. You will no doubt know before the employee does. Your good record-keeping can shoot down an employee’s attempt to blame the firing on something illegal—like disability discrimination or an attempt to interfere with the employee’s FMLA rights.
Employers sometimes think they can replace key employees who take FMLA leave. Not true. They must show that reinstating the employee would have caused substantial and grievous economic injury to the company.

You may have an employee or two with relatives living in foreign lands. While it may not be an issue that comes up often, you should be prepared to handle requests for time off to care for sick relatives overseas. Don’t try to put unreasonable obstacles in the way.

Congressional actions often grab the headlines, but recent executive branch moves have subtly expanded those who qualify for leave. Here's what's new and how you should comply...
Ever wonder if your employees out on FMLA leave are really sitting on a beach sipping a drink with a little umbrella in it? If you think employees are violating your policies, what can you do? One court ruled last month that you can fire such an employee ... but first make sure you have the right policies in place.
There's no sense in becoming a pack rat if you don't need to. While the legal requirements to retain records are complex, you're probably safe in dumping those 1984 vacation-day requests. Still, knowing which records to save or toss can be critical to your business, particularly in defending against a lawsuit.
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