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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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:

A good sick leave policy includes rules governing how employees are supposed to let their employers know that they’re ill. Employees generally have to follow those rules or face discipline. But there are circumstances under which employees may be excused from following the rules. One of those exceptions: when the employer has direct notice that the employee is ill and may need FMLA leave.

Q. Can we refuse to hire a qualified applicant who has told us her National Guard duty conflicts with some of the weekends she would be required to work? Employees in this job bid for rotating scheduled weekends under a union contract seniority system. The applicant’s schedule for Guard duty is not flexible.
Q. A staffing agency has informed my company that a temporary worker who was previously assigned to us is returning from a leave under the FMLA. What are our obligations to this individual?

It comes as a bolt out of the blue: The Florida Commission on Human Relations notifies you that there’s “reasonable cause” to believe retaliation was the reason a female employee lost out on a promotion to a male co-worker. But it was a clean promotion process! How did this happen? As it turns out, this is the “cat’s paw” doctrine at work.