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 expensive to cover an absent employee’s health insurance premiums when he is on FMLA leave—especially if he has family coverage. How­­ever, the law requires employers to do so. What happens if the employee doesn’t return? In some cases, em­­ployers can demand reimbursement for the premiums it paid. That’s true except if the employee doesn’t come back because he or she is still sick or has to continue to care for a sick relative.

Employees who want FMLA leave for their own illness need a certification from a health care provider. It should document a serious condition, briefly explaining the diagnosis and treatment. Employers that doubt the certification is accurate or want to challenge whether the condition really can seek a second opinion from another health care provider, paid for by the company.

To avoid needless litigation, make sure someone else sits in on termination meetings.
Some employees assume that they’ll automatically return to their old positions after taking FMLA and other leave. That’s not necessarily true. Employers are required to guarantee return only if the employee comes back before her 12 weeks of FMLA leave expire.

Disabled employees or those who need FMLA leave aren’t immune from following work rules. But think carefully before you punish them. It is possible to terminate an employee who has announced he needs time off or an accommodation. How­ever, you must have a legitimate rea­son—and you must be able to demonstrate that the company acted in good faith.

Terminations are the spark to many employment lawsuits. And for each of the six kinds, there are some common steps employers can take to make sure they defend themselves if the termination is challenged in court ...

With divided government in Congress, gridlock reigns for most employment-law bills. One bill that has a slim chance: the Parental Bereavement Act, which would amend the FMLA to allow employees to take FMLA leave after the death of a child.

Employees with chronic medical conditions that flare up unpredictably may be entitled to FMLA leave. But that can create scheduling nightmares for employers. And intermittent leave, by its nature, is subject to abuse. After all, an employee on intermittent leave can simply call in and explain his condition is acting up. But that doesn’t mean employers are powerless when they suspect abuse.

Everyone knows employees can use FMLA to care for minor children who have serious health conditions. But what about adult children who need a parent's care? It's a difficult issue that straddles the complex intersection of the FMLA and the ADA, plus definitions of "disability" and "care."

HR Law 101: Your employee handbook should include statements on these topics: a welcoming letter from the CEO, rules and procedures, your employment policies, compensation and benefits, safety and health rules, an affirmative action statement and an acknowledgment receipt form ...