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.

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?

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 developing a written policy on workplace gambling to prevent things from getting out of control.

Employees who run out of FMLA leave and are fired under a policy requiring mandatory dismissal for excessive absences may be invited to apply for other open positions when they recover enough to work. Be careful how you handle those reapplications, especially if one of the terminated employees was off because she was pregnant and ran out of leave before being able to return.

Now that the Democrats have lost their 60-vote supermajority in the Senate, it will be that much more difficult for the Obama administration to make good on many of its pro-employee campaign promises. But this still could be a key year for Democratic plans to revamp our national employment laws. Here are seven key initiatives pending in Congress and what they could mean for your business if they become law.

It is remarkable that a seemingly simple, one-page form—the Form I-9—can cause so many headaches. But who ever said a government form was easy, much less an immigration-related form. Here are the most common mistakes employers make.

Employees sometimes think taking FMLA leave—or even just asking for the time off—protects them from being disciplined or discharged. But Congress never intended the FMLA to act as a shield against legitimate discipline that’s unrelated to the leave. That’s why you’re free to discipline or discharge employees if you can prove you would have taken the same action regardless of the FMLA leave or request.

Because employment laws and your business are in a constant state of flux, it’s critical to keep your personnel policies up-to-date. As spring approaches, one item on every HR professional’s spring cleaning list should be a review of the organization’s employee handbook. In light of recent legal changes, be sure your policies include these updates:

Some comments simply aren’t appropriate in the workplace—especially when the person weighing in is a supervisor or manager. Most bosses understand they can’t use ethnic or racial slurs, but many don’t understand that the same common sense applies to discussing family planning.

The new FMLA regulations say employers can enforce their usual call-in rules, such as requiring employees to call in before missing a shift. That rule change made employers rejoice, assuming they could safely discharge employees who didn’t show up and didn’t call in. But a new case calls that assumption into question.

Could an oversized waistline put your future career at risk? Career columnist Anita Bruzzese says, “If you’re carrying too much weight—enough to be considered overweight or obese—then you’re a concern to employers.”