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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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The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a broad interpretation of the definition of a “son or daughter,” clarifying that any employee who assumes the role of caring for a child will receive parental rights under the FMLA, regardless of the biological relationship. The new rule applies regardless of sexual orientation or conventional family ties.
Read a sampling of questions that our HR Specialist: Premium Plus subscribers submitted to our on-call employment attorney, Nancy N. Delogu, Esq.
Most employment laws don’t make individual employees liable for workplace violations they commit in the course of their employment. But that’s not the case with every violation. According to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, it’s unclear whether the FMLA allows such personal and individual liability—a conundrum that may soon be tested.
If you have a standard policy that requires employees returning from sick leave to show that they’re fit for work, you can also require employees who use FMLA leave to provide the same.

When an employee asks for a reasonable ADA accommodation for a disability, you don’t have to accept her first suggestion. You are under no obligation to provide the employee’s preferred accommodation if you have another one that’s also reasonable.

Don’t jump the gun when it comes to firing an employee for breaking a rule. For example, if you have an attendance policy that requires termination after a certain number of absences, be sure the employee actually missed all those days.

If an employer has to move people and equipment around to cover an employee's work during FMLA leave, it may be difficult to reintegrate the returning employee right away. That’s OK. Minor delays aren’t enough to support an interference-with-FMLA-rights lawsuit.

The Pennsylvania Human Rights Act is the commonwealth’s companion to federal employment laws such as the ADA and Title VII. The PHRA goes beyond most federal laws because it authorizes personal liability for those who “aid and abet” an act of discrimination. And as one recent case shows, aiding and abetting can include making a serious mistake about a reasonable accommodation request.
Employers that fire employees right after they return from FMLA leave run a risk that the timing alone will be seen as proof of retaliation. Unless you are absolutely sure you can convince a judge or jury that the termination is justified, it makes sense to wait a month or so.
Q. Our receptionist has a history of being late for work and taking unexcused absences. She’s out on FMLA leave to care for her sick father. Her temporary replacement is doing an outstanding job and always shows up on time. Can we keep the new receptionist and tell the other one not to return?
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