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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Having employees out on FMLA leave is a hassle. But even worse trouble is certain if bosses make a big deal out of routine FMLA leave re­­quests.

Employees who take protected FMLA leave are only entitled to return to their jobs after leave if they are cleared to perform that job. Employers that want a specific fitness-for-duty certification must ask for more than just the certification. They also have to provide the employee with a list of the job’s essential functions for the doctor to use when assessing fitness for duty.

Employers sometimes think it’s too dangerous to fire a worker who has recently returned from FMLA leave. But don’t let fear of a lawsuit keep you from making a reasonable and necessary business decision. Just make sure the employee’s use of FMLA leave didn’t motivate the discharge.

Criti­­ciz­­ing employees for taking FMLA leave can mean trouble.
Here’s a case that may help you get an ADA or FMLA case dismissed quickly when an employee is acting as her own attorney. A worker has to allege up front in her lawsuit that her employer has enough employees to be covered by the FMLA or the ADA.
Do you have a rule that says employees who aren’t ready to return from FMLA leave when their time is up face termination? If so, consider providing at least limited flexibility under one circumstance.
Some employers mistakenly think that if they terminate an em­­ployee who isn’t yet eligible for FMLA leave, the employee can’t sue. While you may not be violating the FMLA, you may violate other laws that protect the worker.
Q. We hired an employee just a few months ago, so he does not qualify for leave under the FMLA. He has requested intermittent time off to care for a family member. We would like to allow him to take the time off, but we aren’t sure how to handle the situation outside of the FMLA. What is your advice?
Most employers try to run unpaid FMLA leave concurrently with other paid leave, such as sick leave. But sometimes, it may be simpler to encourage the employee to just take a few days of paid vacation or personal leave rather than dealing with the FMLA paperwork. That’s OK.
You might believe that an employee couldn’t argue she didn’t know she was on FMLA leave or that she might lose her job if she didn’t return to work within 12 weeks. You would be wrong.
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