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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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Before you decide to videotape someone whom you suspect may be abusing FMLA leave, make sure you have a good-faith reason to do so. And be prepared to show that surveillance is a common practice for similar suspicions.
During last year’s swine flu pandemic, lots of employers came up with contingency plans in case employees got sick. Most swine flu cases, thankfully, ended up being quite mild. And as a practical matter, that probably meant that most employees who had swine flu would not have been eligible for FMLA leave because they weren’t incapacitated or unable to perform the essential functions of their jobs for three days.
A new 8th Circuit Court of Appeals case allows employers to use an employee’s FMLA certification as the basis for requesting a fitness-for-duty exam if the certification asserts that the employee can’t perform an essential function of her job. That’s especially true in high-pressure professions when an alleged FMLA serious health condition affects an employee’s ability to function while at work.
This will probably happen to you someday (if it hasn’t already): An employee in the middle of being disciplined suddenly says he’s ill and has to leave work. Then, after being terminated, he claims you interfered with his right to take FMLA leave. Don’t fall for it.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is stepping up efforts to encourage and support certain types of wage-loss claims by low-income workers. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced this spring that the department was rolling out its “We Can Help” campaign to address this issue. If you employ relatively low-wage workers, you need to be aware of this program.
Q. One of our exempt employees is in the Reserve. He is going on a two-week training session that starts on a Tuesday. That means he will work on Monday, the start of our week. Do we have to pay him for the whole week when he is only going to be here Monday?
The DOL announced it plans to conduct a study next year of how employees use leave under the FMLA, a move that could be a sign the agency is planning more regulatory changes to the law. The timing of this announcement suggests any FMLA regulatory changes won’t be rolled out until 2011 at the earliest.
Q. An employee has requested FMLA-protected leave to care for his partner’s son. We are aware that the child is not legally or biologically related to our employee. Do we have to grant the leave?
Question: “We have an employee who some of us suspect is faking migraines so she can have time off or leave early when she wants.  She does have intermittent FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) leave, but every time she has an alleged migraine, she spends hours logged on Facebook or Twitter (from her home) or she is off running errands.  It is my understanding that if you have a migraine, you can’t function.  If you call her out on it and even keep pressing, she just lies.  Her behavior is affecting morale because our company adheres to a strict attendance policy. It is frustrating for someone to get an unexcused absence for being legitimately sick, whereas she calls in or leaves early at least once a week, and there is no repercussion.  Is there anything we as her co-workers can do?” — Anonymous
As FMLA administration grows more complex, more employers are using software to track it. Most of the time that works fine. But as one employer recently found out, FMLA apps don't always tell the whole story. Lesson learned: There's no substitute for doing a hands-on review of employee records.
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