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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It’s more important than ever now for HR professionals to independently check supervisors’ disciplinary recommendations to ensure that they have no ulterior motives. That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court, in a much-anticipated “cat’s paw” ruling, said that an employer can be found liable for the discriminatory intent of supervisors who influence—but don’t ultimately make—an adverse employment decision.

Some employees with chronic health conditions believe that getting approved for intermittent FMLA leave means they can take protected time off anytime they feel sick. 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.

If your employee handbook has been gathering dust, now’s the time to update it. Start by doing a quick audit. Spend a half-hour today ensuring your handbook meets these six criteria.
Under the FMLA employers routinely ask an employee’s health care provider to complete a certification form justifying FMLA leave requests. That could create a GINA compliance problem, because the certification might reveal genetic information about the employee. There are obvious precautions that an employer should take to comply.
When an employee announces she’s pregnant, her employer better be able to deliver more than just congratulations. You need legally sound, consistent policies and practices to ward off potential pregnancy complications of your own. Here’s how best to comply with the FMLA, plus a sample policy you can adapt to your own organization:
In late 2010, the EEOC published GINA regulations that provide employers with specific guidance concerning what information they may gather about their employees, how GINA interacts with the FMLA medical certification process and how any genetic information the employer obtains is to be treated.

Smart employers carefully track FMLA leave and make sure employees know their rights. That includes warning employees when their leave is about to expire and explaining their options for returning or requesting additional time off. By keeping employees informed and meticulously tracking all conversations, you make it harder for someone to successfully sue you.

Q. An employee asked to take 12 weeks of FMLA leave this summer because her kindergarten-age child will be out of school. She says her child is special-needs and can’t go to summer camp. Do we have to allow her to take what amounts to an unpaid summer vacation?

Job descriptions are the cornerstone of communication between you and your staff. Job descriptions can also be useful tools in court. Make sure you have job descriptions for all employees’ positions. Then keep those descriptions updated whenever the duties change.

Q. When interviewing prospective employees, will I violate the ADA by asking how many days of work they missed during the past year at their prior jobs?
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