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.

Q. I have an employee who has been taking FMLA leave to care for her ill mother. The employee’s mother recently died, and the employee has requested an additional few weeks to attend to some issues with her mother’s estate. Can I continue to treat this time as FMLA leave?

Q. Can an employer deduct or count overtime hours from an employee’s FMLA balance? Our employees work overtime only from October through December. During that time, they’re required to work 12-hour days, seven days a week. We have several employees on both continuous FMLA and intermittent leave, and we’d like to deduct the overtime hours they would have worked from their FMLA allotment. What do you think?

Q. We have an employee who just told us she needs leave to care for her son, who is in the hospital. What are our time restraints in responding to the request?

Q. How much notice should an employee give an employer before taking FMLA leave?

Q. We have an employee who is on leave for two weeks to care for her ill husband. She is also pregnant and has told us she wants to take FMLA leave after she gives birth. We haven’t yet designated her current time off as FMLA leave. Can we do so and cut her entitlement by two weeks?

Before you decide to fire a troublesome employee for missing work because the absences aren’t covered by the FMLA, double-check your math. In one recent case, the employer fired a “poor-performing” employee but cited a dubious reason: She was frequently absent to care for her father and wasn’t yet eligible for FMLA leave. In fact, it turned out she was eligible and the court wouldn’t buy any of the other discharge reasons.

Once again it's time for "March Madness." If your workplace is like many, talk of NCAA tournament picks and the Final Four will be everywhere, as well as bets on the games. While office pools are a lot of fun, they also can present some risk for employers. Consider developing a written policy on workplace gambling to prevent things from getting out of control.

Employees who run out of FMLA leave and are fired under a policy requiring mandatory dismissal for excessive absences may be invited to apply for other open positions when they recover enough to work. Be careful how you handle those reapplications, especially if one of the terminated employees was off because she was pregnant and ran out of leave before being able to return.

Now that the Democrats have lost their 60-vote supermajority in the Senate, it will be that much more difficult for the Obama administration to make good on many of its pro-employee campaign promises. But this still could be a key year for Democratic plans to revamp our national employment laws. Here are seven key initiatives pending in Congress and what they could mean for your business if they become law.

It is remarkable that a seemingly simple, one-page form—the Form I-9—can cause so many headaches. But who ever said a government form was easy, much less an immigration-related form. Here are the most common mistakes employers make.