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.

Requiring an employee to undergo a fitness-for-duty examination to show he can perform his job doesn’t mean you’re regarding him as disabled or essentially conceding he is disabled. How you handle the exam results is what matters—not that you ordered an exam in the first place. If the exam shows the employee can perform the job, make sure you immediately reinstate him.

Employees often claim their jobs stress them out. And for some, it’s so bad they feel they need to take off work for a week or so to cope. That doesn’t mean, however, that employees are automatically entitled to use FMLA leave. Even if they get a doctor to write a note “prescribing” rest, they don’t qualify for FMLA leave unless there’s some additional treatment ordered, such as medication or counseling.

Who likes confrontation at work? Yet that fear of confrontation can drive a manager to write a glowing evaluation for an average or poor-performing employee—just to avoid conflict and hurt feelings. One court recently warned managers to get over the fear and document accurately … or you’ll lose key legal defenses needed to win discrimination lawsuits.

Once again it's time for "March Madness." If your workplace is like many, talk of NCAA tournament picks and the Final Four will be everywhere, as well as bets on the games. While office pools are a lot of fun, they also can present some risk for employers. Consider having a written policy regarding workplace gambling to prevent things from getting out of control.

Q. If an employee exhausts his 12 weeks of FMLA and still isn’t able to return to work, should we terminate his employment immediately?

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protects employees from discrimination based on pregnancy and related medical conditions. It doesn’t, however, let new mothers take off work when child care arrangements fall through, as the following case shows.

Join The HR Specialist in celebrating the first-ever “HR Professionals Week,” a five-day tribute to all that human resources pros do to make American workplaces more effective and American businesses more successful. From Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 5, we're offering a full week’s worth of free resources and activities available to all, including open-access podcasts and white papers on the critical issues shaping the HR profession.

As we enter a new decade, HR must pay more attention than ever to employment law issues. Reason: new laws taking effect, increased agency enforcement, more lawsuits spurred by a poor economy and an activist Congress. Here are 10 key trends and how to respond:

HR professionals must make sure that supervisors hear this message loud and clear: Don’t make any assumptions about what a pregnant woman can or cannot do. Voicing such presumptions and taking action based on them virtually guarantees a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.

Here’s a problem to warn supervisors and managers about: When an employee with a disability returns from FMLA leave, don’t assume she can’t do her job or will need more time off. If or when the time comes, then you can decide how to handle time off. Until then, assume all is well.