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.

Here’s another good reason to meticulously track performance: If you end up firing or demoting someone without good documentation, you may end up in court. Bad timing alone could trigger a lawsuit if the employee engaged in some sort of protected activity just before the action.

Q. I read the article last month (“Follow 5 steps to make sure GINA doesn’t trip you up”) regarding the recent passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. What should we do to make sure that we are not violating this law?

If an employer has to downsize due to economic conditions, employees who are out on FMLA leave aren’t immune. They can be included in the reduction in force as long as their FMLA status isn’t used as a factor. But employers have to be careful—it will look suspicious if the only employee laid off happens to have been out on FMLA leave or just returned from it.

Interested in combating potential FMLA fraud? The best way to keep employees from gaming FMLA leave is to use the law’s medical certification process. To make sure employees take only FMLA leave to which they are entitled, follow these 10 steps:

When establishing or changing your Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy, make sure you include it in your employee handbook. Don't rely on references to the policy outside the book, and don't attach or staple the policy separately.

Q. Before an employee left for FMLA leave, she performed two functions: administrative assistant and some HR duties. We filled the administrative position while she was on leave. Can we assign her to work only in the HR position when she comes back?

Virtually every federal employment law has an anti-retaliation provision—they would be toothless tigers without them. Employees who can’t prove outright discrimination often try the retaliation route. The EEOC handled a record-high 33,613 retaliation complaints in 2009. As a result, employers must tread carefully when dealing with an employee who has exercised his or her rights under any federal law.

It happens more often than you might think. An HR office begins receiving an unusual number of FMLA certifications from the same doctor. The sudden deluge happens during peak production times when employees are required to work mandatory overtime. It all points to what amounts to a scam:

With workplace budgets still tight, recession-weary employees need a morale booster now more than ever. It's time to use a little creativity to reward workers—without breaking the bank.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 was enacted in response to concerns that insurers and employers could use results of genetic testing to discriminate against applicants and employees. Covered employers should consider updating their employment policies and practices to comply with GINA’s many technical requirements.