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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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.

When it comes to employment law, it’s always best for managers to learn from others’ mistakes rather than their own. Share these recent court cases—and the lessons learned—with your organization’s supervisors:

Low morale can easily creep into a department without supervisors realizing it. But once it’s there, it’s hard to root out. Check every day to make sure people stay in tune. Here are 10 sour notes to listen for, according to the new book, Leadership When the Heat’s On:

Many employers use software to track FMLA eligibility. Most of the time that works fine. But if you decide to terminate an employee because the software told you she wasn’t eligible for FMLA leave, double-check the calculation first. If you confirm she hasn’t worked a total of 52 weeks, you can terminate her.

Q. One of our supervisors needs time off to undergo medical treatment. Instead of FMLA leave, may we require him to use accrued vacation for the time he will miss?
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. Employers are free to subtract the time off from any FMLA hours available.
Q. One of our employees got the flu while she was out on vacation leave. Now she wants her vacation time back and wants to call those “sick days” instead. Do we have to let her change the status of this leave time?

To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee “must have been employed for at least 1,250 hours of service” with his or her employer during the 12 months prior to the commencement of the FMLA leave. That seems simple enough. But in the world of FMLA administration, nothing is as simple as it seems.

In each monthly issue, our HR Specialist: Compensation & Benefits newsletter reports on creative employee benefit and compensation programs being offered by U.S. employers. Those are published in the What’s Working column of each issue. Here’s a sampling of recent articles: