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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 are out on unpaid FMLA leave are still entitled to health insurance benefits if they were covered before going out on leave. However, if the employee was required to pay part of the premium before taking leave, that obligation continues. If he skips any payments, the employer can terminate coverage without violating the FMLA.

Q. Are minor problems like urinary tract infections considered “serious health conditions” under the FMLA? Do we have to allow time off?
Q. We have a pregnant employee. She needs to take time off for medical appointments and perhaps complications. She then wants to take FMLA leave for birth and bonding. Should we require two separate medical certifications? And should we count all the medical appointments related to pregnancy against her 12 weeks of FMLA leave?
Employers that deny an employee the right to reinstatement after protected FMLA leave must make sure there’s solid proof that there was a rational reason for doing so. As a practical matter, that means employers must show that the employee would have lost her job regardless of whether she took FMLA leave.
Do you automatically terminate employees who can’t return to work after exhausting FMLA leave and personal leave? That could violate the ADA.
Some employees think they can walk out on their jobs as soon as it looks like their employer is going to violate their rights. Then they sue, arguing constructive discharge. But courts expect employees to give their employers a chance to right wrongs.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that employees don’t automatically become eligible for unemployment compensation benefits just because their employer didn’t follow its own progressive disciplinary policy outlined in the employee handbook.

Employees don’t always give their employers much notice that they need FMLA leave. Nor are they always specific. Now the 7th Circuit Court of Ap­peals has issued a ruling that clarifies what’s expected of both employer and employee in such circumstances.

Employees who take FMLA leave may have a retaliation case if their employers discipline them differently than other employees and can’t explain why. That’s why you must be able to explain every discipline decision and differentiate between seemingly similar conduct.

The FMLA lets employees take up to 12 weeks off for their serious health conditions. If an employee gets a certification showing she has a serious health con­dition, you can request a second, independent assessment. But if the second opinion says the condition isn’t serious, that’s not the final word. FMLA regulations require a third opinion as the tiebreaker.

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