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. Many of our employees are eligible for a bonus at the end of each year if they meet specific yearly sales goals. Are we required to prorate the bonus for employees who fail to meet their goals because they took FMLA leave during the year?

Some employees with chronic health conditions mistakenly believe that getting approved for intermittent FMLA leave means they can take protected time off anytime they feel ill. That’s simply not true. Intermittent leave can only be taken for illness, treatment or flare-ups directly related to a condition for which a health care provider has certified intermittent leave.

Two employees of Virginia-based coal supplier Alpha Natural Resources won $15,000 each for participating in an employer-sponsored wellness screening. Last year, the company began offering prize money to encourage employees to participate. Everyone who volunteered for the screening was eligible to win.
You can and should use the FMLA rules to encourage employees to return from FMLA leave as soon as possible. One of the most effective ways is to run their unpaid FMLA leave time concurrently with any paid leave they may have coming. That way, they can’t use up that paid time first and get another 12 unpaid weeks.

Some employees think that once they are approved for FMLA leave, they don’t have to follow the same rules as other employees when they’re away from work. That’s not necessarily true. In fact, employers are free to create call-in policies that require employees who are going to be absent to phone daily—and they can include employees on FMLA leave in that policy.

Some old-school managers cling to outdated notions about how to treat pregnant employees. Kind gestures are fine, but watch out if a manager’s overprotectiveness results in women being denied promotions or opportunities to work when there’s no reason not to.
Paid time off (PTO) plans have shot up in popularity in recent years and now are nearly the majority type of employee leave program at U.S. organizations. Use the following data from the recent Paid Time Off Programs and Practices survey by WorldatWork to benchmark your organization’s PTO practices.
Is the FMLA poster in your break room up-to-date? If it’s not, courts could wonder if you’re serious about upholding employees’ right to take FMLA leave, as the following case shows.
Q. Our company has employees stationed in locations outside the United States. A situation recently occurred that raised the question of whether U.S. employment laws apply to employees of American companies working outside the United States. Do they?
Q. An employee took time off to be with her husband who had a heart attack. We only have 30 employees. Management was very upset and wouldn’t let her take any paid time off and wouldn’t guarantee her position. She had accumulated several weeks of sick and vacation time. Can the company keep her from taking paid time off to care for her husband?
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