FMLA Guidelines — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 81
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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.

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Before you decide to videotape someone whom you suspect may be abusing FMLA leave, make sure you have a good-faith reason to do so. And be prepared to show that surveillance is a common practice for similar suspicions.
During last year’s swine flu pandemic, lots of employers came up with contingency plans in case employees got sick. Most swine flu cases, thankfully, ended up being quite mild. And as a practical matter, that probably meant that most employees who had swine flu would not have been eligible for FMLA leave because they weren’t incapacitated or unable to perform the essential functions of their jobs for three days.

California lawmakers—and courts—don’t like noncompete agreements because they limit employee mobility and career growth. Most employers understand that they can’t enforce such agreements if an employee leaves. But what about an informal “gentlemen’s agreement” between competitors to refrain from hiring employees who signed agreements?

The EEOC has filed suit against Princeton Healthcare System, claiming its leave policies violated the ADA. According to the EEOC complaint, Princeton Healthcare fires employees who aren’t eligible for leave under the FMLA if they cannot return to work in seven days.
A new 8th Circuit Court of Appeals case allows employers to use an employee’s FMLA certification as the basis for requesting a fitness-for-duty exam if the certification asserts that the employee can’t perform an essential function of her job. That’s especially true in high-pressure professions when an alleged FMLA serious health condition affects an employee’s ability to function while at work.

Elective surgery that isn’t medically necessary may not be eligible for FMLA leave because the employee having the procedure may not be suffering from a serious health condition. Challenge such leave requests by asking for the second and third certifications that the FMLA allows.

Want to stop FMLA abuse? Then get strict about enforcing your certification requirements. There’s no reason employees should be allowed to simply say they need FMLA leave. Instead, make them turn in certifications within tight deadlines.
Q. We have an employee who cares for a child but does not have a legal or biological relationship to the child. The employee wants to take a child-related leave under the FMLA. Is she eligible?
This will probably happen to you someday (if it hasn’t already): An employee in the middle of being disciplined suddenly says he’s ill and has to leave work. Then, after being terminated, he claims you interfered with his right to take FMLA leave. Don’t fall for it.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is stepping up efforts to encourage and support certain types of wage-loss claims by low-income workers. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced this spring that the department was rolling out its “We Can Help” campaign to address this issue. If you employ relatively low-wage workers, you need to be aware of this program.
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