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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Employees occasionally have to step in on short notice to help care for a family member and may legitimately need FMLA leave to handle those responsibilities. Go ahead and suggest FMLA time off. However, until the employee takes you up on the offer, you can hold her to your regular attendance policy.

Q. Several of our employees are in the Army Reserve or are on long-term leave due to military deployment. What rules apply?

Many employers don’t like to provide specific reasons for firing someone. Instead, they simply tell the employee that he is being terminated from his at-will employment. Don’t take that as an excuse not to document the reason you are terminating the employee.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has finally settled a key question: Can employers and employees settle FMLA disputes without having to get either court or Department of Labor approval? The court said yes, such cases can be settled between the parties without outside interference. That’s good news.

When it comes to deciding whether to grant reasonable accommodations, the first step is to determine whether the employee is really disabled. A diagnosis isn’t the last word. Does the condition actually limit the employee in some substantial way?

These days, much of the evidence used in employment litigation is electronic—such as attendance records. Courts require employers to preserve such evidence when employers reasonably know that a lawsuit could arise. If evidence is destroyed, courts can impose heavy financial sanctions and even hand a win to the other side without a trial.

Under the law, an employee who takes FMLA leave is entitled to return to the same position he or she held when leave started or to an equivalent position. However, there are situations when employers can refuse to reinstate workers returning from FMLA leave—but only under limited circumstances.
Employers are free to develop their own policies, but many laws have an absolute mandate—you must ensure employees receive proper notice of your policies. That's why the FMLA section of your handbook is so important. Here's your roadmap to full compliance with the FMLA's notification requirements.
A recent BusinessWeek story pours out several examples of companies embracing the idea of drinking at work. While occasional celebrations are fine, offering an unlimited liquid buffet is simply asking for employment law trouble.
Q. I’ve been hearing a new term lately: “cat’s paw” lia­bil­ity. What is it, and why should I be worried about it?
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