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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Employers naturally expect employees to show up on a regular basis, unless there’s an illness or emergency.But some employees have medical or other conditions that cause sporadic attendance. If they claim a disability, then they must be able to prove they can perform a job’s essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations.

 

Employees don’t have much time to file ADA or NJLAD disability discrimination claims with the appropriate agency. For failure-to-accommodate claims, the clock starts ticking when the employer ends the interactive reasonable accommodations process. That’s why employers must nail down that date and tell the employee.

Employees are protected against retaliation for taking FMLA leave. Disciplining an employee who has just returned from such leave is risky, especially if you can’t point to anything truly objective as the reason. Attributing a “poor attitude” to returning employees is a bad idea unless you can provide specific examples of actual work deficiencies.

Q. We have an employee returning from FMLA leave. His physician has issued a fitness-for-duty certificate. However, we have doubts about the worker’s ability to perform his job because he wasn’t off work very long ... Can we send him to another physician for a second fitness-for-duty examination?
You no doubt know you should act fast to investigate when employees complain about discrimination. But that doesn’t mean you need to rush to complete your inquiry in just one day.
A federal court has refused to expand the FMLA, rejecting an employee’s attempt to force automatic FMLA leave for a serious health condition allegedly caused by her employer.
Q. On the U.S. Department of Labor’s Form WH-381 “Employer’s Response to Employee,” there is a line that asks whether the worker is a “key employee” as described in the FMLA regulations. I always check the box indicating that the worker is a key employee. How should I mark these boxes? I consider most of our workers key employees, and I do not want to offend anyone by suggesting that they are not.

When employees are fired for absenteeism, they may be quick to point to unequal treatment, saying other workers kept their jobs but were absent more often. One way to avoid such claims is to install a point system to punish absenteeism, terminating employees who accumulate too many points.

The March of Dimes devotes itself to promoting healthy babies—in the community and among its own employees. To that end, working moms can take 26 weeks off—six with full pay—with a guarantee that their jobs will be waiting for them when they return. They also get another week of paid sick leave. The organization also doubled its paternity benefit last year.

Sometimes, a new supervisor takes the opportunity to settle old scores with former co-workers. And that can create liability for the employer. So before the promotion kicks in, teach your newly minted managers that federal laws prohibit supervisors from retaliating against workers for everything from taking FMLA leave to filing a workers’ comp claim.