The cost cutting and staff reductions may not be completely over, but as the economy begins its recovery, HR will be dealing with new challenges in 2010. Still, the flush workplace of 2006 isn’t likely to rush back into vogue. In fact, the historic recession has made a lasting impression on many organizations, which could hang onto the lessons they learned while surviving lean times. Here are 10 trends to expect in the coming year, plus tips and tools to help you respond to each:
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.
When was the last time you reviewed your company’s bulletin boards in the break room or alongside the time clock? Do they show the correct, updated federal- and state-law posters? A little time spent seeing what’s there—and what’s missing—will keep you in compliance with state and federal laws.
Q. One of our employees has requested medical leave to care for her 35-year-old son who was injured in combat duty. The employee indicated that she will probably need more than 12 weeks of leave. Do we have to give her more than 12 weeks of leave?
HR Law 101: When drugs don’t seem to present a problem in a workplace, it’s easy to develop a cavalier attitude about them. That’s not very smart. Drug abuse often begins with a single offender and then spreads out malignantly. Experts say your best defense is to detect drug abuse when it first appears and to root it out immediately ...
Have you ever been suspicious about an employee’s request for FMLA leave? Employees have learned to play the FMLA game quite well in the 17 years since the law was passed. In this new case, an "attendance-challenged" employee was denied extra vacation leave for her wedding, so she then submitted an FMLA leave request for those same dates. Hmmmm … smell fishy?
Corporate counsels are preparing for a big year of litigation, with 42% of them anticipating an increase in legal disputes their companies will face in the next 12 months. That’s up from 34% last year, according to the annual litigation survey by Fulbright & Jaworski.
Question: “I am a single mother raising two toddlers by myself. This is held against me at work, because no one else has this problem. My co-workers are all happily married or have grown children. With no family available to help, I often have to take time off for medical appointments, illnesses and other child care issues. My boss says if this continues, he may have to find someone else for my position. I feel desperate because I love my job. How can I make these people understand?” — Worried Mother
If your organization uses independent contractors, watch out: Starting in February, the IRS will begin intensive audits of 6,000 randomly selected employers. One of the key targets: Determining whether employers are improperly misclassifying workers as independent contractors to save on taxes and legal risks.
Employees who request FMLA leave can’t be punished for doing so. That would be retaliation and interference with the right to leave. But merely asking about FMLA leave or requesting paperwork isn’t enough to form the basis of an FMLA claim.
You never know which employee is going to be the one who will sue over discipline. But one thing is certain: When she does, you’ll need every bit of documentary evidence you can find to justify your decision.