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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Many employers use a point system to punish absenteeism, firing employees who accumulate too many points. Such a system negates the need to track the total number of hours of work an employee misses, since the employer is counting points rather than time.
Q. An employee recently requested a leave of absence because her husband left for Afghanistan. We denied her request. Now, I’m worried that we may have acted wrongly. Did we?
Q. Is there any help you can provide on how we should obtain medical information from employees taking FMLA leave?
Q. We have an employee returning from a leave taken under the federal FMLA and the California Family Rights Act. His physician has issued a fitness-for-duty certificate. However, we have doubts about the worker’s ability to perform his job ... Can we send him to another physician for a second fitness-for-duty examination?
Q. An employee worked for us for years, took four years off to have a child and was rehired nine months ago. She asked for time off because her child needed surgery. We refused because we thought she was not FMLA-eligible. After we terminated her for an unauthorized leave of absence, we received a nasty letter from her attorney threatening to sue us for violating her rights under the FMLA. Who’s right?

A Pennsylvania House of Representatives committee has begun considering legislation that would require all employers to provide some paid sick leave for employees. The Healthy Family, Healthy Workplaces Act would require employers with 10 or more employees to provide at least one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 52 hours per year.

When it comes to FMLA leave, many employers have internal procedures that are somewhat stricter than those specified in the FMLA. That doesn’t mean, however, that employers shouldn’t be flexible under emergency circumstances. Holding an employee to an impossible requirement won’t fly with courts.
An employee’s request to take FMLA leave can be frustrating for supervisors who have to manage schedules and projects. But if they voice those concerns in a way that seems angry or annoyed, they may be creating the perfect storm for an FMLA interference lawsuit. Remind them to accept FMLA requests professionally, without emotion.
Q. One of our employees is having cosmetic surgery and plans to take leave. Would that fall under the FMLA, or would it be a leave of absence?

Back in August, we told you how a federal court had dismissed a case involving a woman who had taken her child out of day care for the summer and asked for FMLA leave so she could care for him until school started. (See “School’s out for summer! But the FMLA doesn’t cover day care”.) Now the same court has reinstated the lawsuit after taking another look at the facts.

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