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.
Employees with a serious health condition are entitled to take intermittent FMLA leave when their conditions flare up. And disabled employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations for their disabilities. That can include time off. Employers must therefore consider granting intermittent FMLA leave among the possible ADA reasonable accommodations when an employee has a serious health condition that is also a disability.
Don’t make a common, but potentially expensive mistake. You can terminate an employee who isn’t ready to return to work when he has used up his FMLA leave without violating the FMLA. However, you may be violating the ADA by doing so.
Q. One of my employees recently informed me that she needs to take time off to seek psychiatric treatment. I realize that this employee may be disabled under the ADA, but could she also be considered to be suffering from a serious health condition under the FMLA?
Sometimes, employees develop medical problems and use up their available leave under the FMLA or other leave programs before they get a definitive diagnosis. Think about offering them additional time off.
When employees lose their jobs, they often look for a reason to sue. One common tactic is to argue that a layoff was used as an excuse to get rid of “unproductive” employees, especially those who take advantage of their right to FMLA leave. That’s why HR must develop a performance-appraisal system that documents that having taken FMLA leave wasn’t a factor when you evaluated employees’ work.
Don’t write off a lawsuit just because a former employee misses state discrimination agency and EEOC deadlines to file a complaint. If the employee has an FMLA-related claim, she has up to three years to file a federal lawsuit. And she doesn’t have to file anything with the EEOC or a New York state or local discrimination agency.
Florida’s version of the FMLA allows workers to take up to three days of leave if the employee or a family member is the victim of domestic violence. Now a state senator, Mike Fasano, has proposed an amendment that would extend that protection to pet abuse.
While employees with chronic medical conditions are typically entitled to FMLA leave, such intermittent absences are fertile ground for abuse. After all, an employee on intermittent leave can simply call in and say his condition is acting up. But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless if you suspect abuse.
Q. We have an employee who has exhausted his FMLA leave, but wants additional time off. Do we have to grant his request?
The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed new FMLA rules that would formalize several statutory amendments that expanded military family-leave rights in 2008 and 2009. The new rules would officially incorporate into the FMLA amendments that were tacked onto the National Defense Authorization Act. If you're covered by the FMLA, these rules will apply to you.