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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In an August webinar, attorney Michelle Maslowski of Ogletree Deakins shone a spotlight on Family and Medical Leave Act edge cases that reveal what a puzzle this law can be ... and then provided answers.

Always view termination as an act that might be challenged in court. That’s especially true if the employee has taken FMLA leave in the past. Lawyers love to file FMLA retaliation suits, which can be lucrative. Defend against them by backing up your termination decision with solid documentation of performance or behavior problems.

Employers have the right to set reasonable call-off requirements for when an employee will miss a shift or arrive late. Employees can be required to follow those rules. If someone doesn’t, you can discipline him—even if you approved FMLA leave for the absence. But beware: If you don’t consistently enforce the call-off rule, you may be on the losing end of an FMLA lawsuit.

HR professionals consistently rate FMLA administration as one of their most difficult tasks. New court decisions constantly affect the FMLA landscape.
Do you have an employee with a serious health condition you cannot accommodate? You can insist that she take FMLA leave. There is no legal requirement to go along with her suggestions for elaborate and expensive accommodations that might let her continue working.

It may be disruptive and expensive to provide an employee with up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave and continue to cover your share of an employee’s health insurance premiums. But ignoring your FMLA obligation—or trying to find creative ways around it—can be even more costly to your organization. Consider this recent Pennsylvania case in which the employee ended up losing her medical coverage during a health crisis. The employer has now been ordered to pay the employee’s medical bills directly.

Employees have to work at least 1,250 hours in the preceding year to be eligible for FMLA leave. If an employee requests leave to deal with a medical issue and is close to achieving that threshold, inform her. Maybe she can wait until she’s covered by the FMLA.

Before you approve or reject an employee’s FMLA request, the law allows you to request a medical certification from the employee. That certification must have some specific things.

Being terminated for taking job-protected leave was the No. 1 reason employees filed FMLA-related complaints with the U.S. Department of Labor last year. What were their others?
It may be natural for supervisors to be upset when one of their key employees goes out on workers’ compensation or FMLA leave, but make sure managers know not to lash out.
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