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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When California enacted a 2004 law requiring employers to grant paid leave for employees to bond with a new child or care for a sick family member, critics predicted it would cost jobs and harm small businesses. A new study says that didn’t happen.
The NCAA basketball tournament may be done, but the “Final Four Biggest Workplace Headaches for 2011” competition continues. Read up on four of the most vexing HR problems, and then cast your vote for the winner—the one that makes your work life miserable.
Q. One of our employees thinks she will need about five months off for medical treatment. She wants to use her accumulated vacation and sick time and then go on FMLA leave. Do I have to allow this?
The FMLA is a complicated law that can trip up even the most experienced HR professional. And sometimes it may not be apparent that an employee didn’t get the leave he was entitled to until after his legal complaint is in full swing. Fortunately, there’s still something you can do to cut the potential liability.
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.
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