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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When an employee asks for a reasonable ADA accommodation for a disability, you don’t have to accept her first suggestion. You are under no obligation to provide the employee’s preferred accommodation if you have another one that’s also reasonable.

Some employees have heard through the legal grapevine that if the going gets tough at work, they can just get going. They believe they can up and quit—and then turn around and sue, claiming that they had no choice but to leave because they were suffering retaliation for taking some protected action. This is an example of “constructive discharge.” But conditions have to be pretty onerous before the tactic works.

The Pennsylvania Human Rights Act is the commonwealth’s companion to federal employment laws such as the ADA and Title VII. The PHRA goes beyond most federal laws because it authorizes personal liability for those who “aid and abet” an act of discrimination. And as one recent case shows, aiding and abetting can include making a serious mistake about a reasonable accommodation request.
Employers that fire employees right after they return from FMLA leave run a risk that the timing alone will be seen as proof of retaliation. Unless you are absolutely sure you can convince a judge or jury that the termination is justified, it makes sense to wait a month or so.
If you have a standard policy that requires employees returning from sick leave to show that they’re fit for work, you can also require employees who use FMLA leave to provide the same.
Q. Our receptionist has a history of being late for work and taking unexcused absences. She’s out on FMLA leave to care for her sick father. Her temporary replacement is doing an outstanding job and always shows up on time. Can we keep the new receptionist and tell the other one not to return?
Don’t jump the gun when it comes to firing an employee for breaking a rule. For example, if you have an attendance policy that requires termination after a certain number of absences, be sure the employee actually missed all those days.

If an employer has to move people and equipment around to cover an employee's work during FMLA leave, it may be difficult to reintegrate the returning employee right away. That’s OK. Minor delays aren’t enough to support an interference-with-FMLA-rights lawsuit.

Employers aren’t required to go out of their way to encourage employees to have a doctor certify a serious health condition that qualifies for FMLA leave.
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:
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