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.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 was enacted in response to concerns that insurers and employers could use results of genetic testing to discriminate against applicants and employees. Covered employers should consider updating their employment policies and practices to comply with GINA’s many technical requirements.

Go figure: Some employees get stressed out when they suspect they’re facing serious discipline or even termination. That understandable anxiety doesn’t mean you have to stop the disciplinary process. Unless the employee asks for FMLA leave or otherwise gives you enough information to indicate that she has a serious health condition—and not just nerves—you can go ahead with your investigation.

The FLSA allows employers to round off an hourly employee’s arrival or departure time to the nearest five minutes, tenth of an hour or quarter of an hour. But your rounding practices can’t always favor the employer. Rounding must be neutral or it must favor the employee. That means if you round down, you must also round up. You have several ways to make rounding fair:

Employees who suffer from chronic conditions may have to see their doctors regularly. Under the FMLA, if those employees give you 30 days’ notice, they’re allowed to pick the day for their appointment. You can’t simply argue that they don’t need to take off that particular day because there is no emergency or urgency.

Q. We have an employee who just told us she needs leave to care for her son, who is in the hospital. What are our time restraints in responding to the request?

Q. How much notice should an employee give an employer before taking FMLA leave?

Q. We have an employee who is on leave for two weeks to care for her ill husband. She is also pregnant and has told us she wants to take FMLA leave after she gives birth. We haven’t yet designated her current time off as FMLA leave. Can we do so and cut her entitlement by two weeks?

Before you decide to fire a troublesome employee for missing work because the absences aren’t covered by the FMLA, double-check your math. In one recent case, the employer fired a “poor-performing” employee but cited a dubious reason: She was frequently absent to care for her father and wasn’t yet eligible for FMLA leave. In fact, it turned out she was eligible and the court wouldn’t buy any of the other discharge reasons.

Q. Is calling in “sick” sufficient notice that an employee needs FMLA leave?

Employees returning from military service are entitled to come back to their old jobs, and they have other limited job protections, too. But those protections don’t mean employers can never discipline or demote employees who have been serving in the armed forces. Just make sure you’re doing so for legitimate business reasons, such as documented poor performance.