It’s understandable that someone who has had a heart attack and taken time off to recover might assume that he’s disabled under the terms of the ADA. That’s not always the case. As is true of other conditions, it’s only a disability if the heart attack’s residual effects substantially impair a major life function.
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.
You should hold disabled employees to the same behavioral standards as other employees, unless there is a good disability-related reason to deviate from the rules. For example, if you set strict time limits for lunches and authorized breaks, there is no reason to give disabled employees more time unless allowing more time is a legitimate reasonable accommodation.
Whether it’s intentional or not, some supervisors send unmistakable signals that their subordinates had better not take time off unless it’s absolutely necessary. That can mean trouble. Employees who are too scared to ask for leave may later turn around and sue, alleging a deliberate effort to discourage them from taking advantage of the FMLA.
Employers and disabled employees both have an obligation to act like adults when coming up with possible reasonable accommodations. Each side has to listen to the other and consider different viewpoints and potential accommodations. Neither party should walk away in a huff. Be smart: Carefully track the accommodations process.
Terminated employees sometimes have to file for bankruptcy. Sometimes they sue former employers, too. In that case, they’re required to inform the bankruptcy court about their pending lawsuit. If you lose a lawsuit, have your attorney find out whether the former employee has filed for bankruptcy. You may find that you have a “get out of jail free” card.
Employees often have legitimate reasons for accusing their employers of retaliation. But sometimes, employees themselves retaliate against a company, either out of malice, or to head off being fired. That’s one reason it pays to try to anticipate employee misfeasance and guard against sabotage.
When deciding whether a person has a health condition that qualifies for FMLA leave, employers sometimes mistakenly focus only on the provision that defines “serious condition” as one that incapacitates an employee for three calendar days or more. They frequently overlook the part of the FMLA that adds any period of incapacity or treatment due to a chronic, serious health condition.