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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.

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.

California law makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees who are hurt at work. For example, if an employer requires those hurt at work to use vacation time for medical appointments while other employees can take sick leave, that would be illegal discrimination.

Q. Our company employs a husband and his wife in different departments. Their daughter has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition that requires hospitalization for extended periods of time. The couple wants to know how much time they are entitled to under the FMLA to care for their child. Our company policy provides that spouses employed by the company can get only a combined total of 12 weeks to care for a sick child. Is that a correct application of the law, or does the FMLA prevent us from implementing such a policy?

On Nov. 23, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement issued an opinion letter stating that employers may deduct vacation and sick leave banks for exempt employees’ partial-day absences of fewer than four hours without risking their exempt status.

Employees sometimes assume that if their employer approves a request for disability leave, they must be disabled and are therefore entitled to reasonable accommodations when they return to work. That’s simply not the case. Many times, what’s called “disability leave” is really FMLA leave, based on the employee’s serious health condition. But those conditions are frequently temporary and wouldn’t qualify as a disability under the ADA.

When a supervisor allegedly harasses a subordinate, all kinds of things can go wrong. But handled improperly, all fingers often point to employer liability. That’s why it’s vital to act quickly on any subordinate complaint.

When Fort Lauderdale police officers sued the city, they claimed an early retirement offered to older workers violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The grounds: that a release the city asks the departing officers to sign illegally makes retirees relinquish all claims against the city.

If you think your liability ends when an employee leaves, think again. Employers can still be liable for retaliation if the employee complained about bias before she left and now claims you withheld compensation.

Just when you thought you had implemented all the necessary changes to your family- and military-leave policies, the law has again changed. On Oct. 28, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2010 fiscal year, which includes provisions that expand the military leave entitlements of the FMLA.

Many union contracts specifically allow employers to terminate employees who are out on workers’ comp for extended periods of time. Of course, injured employees also use up their allotment of FMLA leave while on workers’ comp leave. The question then becomes whether employers can count the FMLA absences toward the number of days the employee is absent before termination.