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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Employees whose disabilities require reasonable accommodations in the form of breaks or a modified schedule don’t get to save their FMLA leave for later use. You are free to subtract the time off from any FMLA hours available.
Comments supervisors make on performance evaluations can come back to haunt the company—especially if they concern the FMLA. That’s why HR should carefully review performance evaluations and tell supervisors to zip it when tempted to gripe about FMLA leave.
Make sure your entire staff is on the same page when it comes to responding to FMLA requests. Decide on a contact person and set a policy that lets all employees know. Create a log for recording all incoming FMLA communications. Remember, certifications may come directly from medical providers, who are likely to use fax or mail delivery.
As FMLA administration grows more complex, more employers are using software to track it. Most of the time that works fine. But if you decide to terminate because the software told you an employee overstepped her leave or wasn’t eligible for FMLA leave, review the reasons for the leave and double-check your calculations.

An employee who takes FMLA leave is entitled to return to her old job or an equivalent one when she’s ready to return to work. But what if the employee can’t perform her old job, perhaps because of lingering health problems? Reassign her.

The idea behind alternative dispute resolution is that cases will take less time and cost less money to litigate. But that may not always be true. Often, employees who have signed arbitration agreements and promised to use an alternative dispute-resolution process end up suing in federal court to try to get the agreement thrown out. Courts often oblige.

If you offer short-term disability (STD) benefits for employees who can’t work because of illness, you probably insist on medical documentation. If the employee doesn’t provide that information within the reasonable timeline your STD plan requires, you can count the absence against the employee and terminate her.

Federal employment laws can be terribly confusing, particularly because they often have different definitions for the size of a business that is exempt from the law. Use the following list to make sure you’re not spending time and money complying with laws that only apply to larger businesses.

Lots of employers have no-fault attendance policies, which allow a certain number of unexcused absences without any documentation and then punish employees who go beyond allowable limits. No-fault policies are fine … as long as they don’t penalize workers for taking time off that’s protected under the FMLA.

Believe it or not, some employees are under the impression they can use FMLA leave during the summer months to care for their minor children instead of sending them to summer camp or day care. That’s not true unless the child has a serious health condition that prevents participation in camp or day care. Otherwise, parents are expected to make conventional child care arrangements during the summer.