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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.

Employees who request FMLA leave can’t be punished for doing so. That would be retaliation and interference with the right to leave. But merely asking about FMLA leave or requesting paperwork isn’t enough to form the basis of an FMLA claim.

You never know which employee is going to be the one who will sue over discipline. But one thing is certain: When she does, you’ll need every bit of documentary evidence you can find to justify your decision.

Employees who take FMLA leave are entitled to be reinstated to their jobs if they return to work when their 12 weeks off expire. But many employers provide additional time off. But if employers grant that additional leave, they don’t have to reinstate the employee to the same or an equivalent position when she returns.

Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania’s senior senator, switched parties from Republican to Democrat in April, and now he’s changed his mind about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). His support for pending legislation to repeal DOMA, which limits federal government recognition of same-sex marriage, could be crucial—and could affect HR.

Employees returning from FMLA leave are entitled to reinstatement to their former jobs or equivalent positions. However, an employer can terminate an employee while she’s out on FMLA leave if it can show it would have done so anyway even if the employee hadn’t taken FMLA leave. But be careful ...

It seems logical—employees who can’t come to work won’t be able to perform the essential functions of their jobs. It may be possible to accommodate some disabled employees by letting them work from home, but that’s not true of most jobs.

Many employers believe that if an employee needs accommodations for a disability that’s related to the same serious health condition covered by the FMLA, they don’t have to provide any additional leave once the employee has used 12 weeks of FMLA leave. That’s not always true. In fact, additional unpaid leave after FMLA leave has been exhausted may be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

Employees who quit aren’t generally entitled to unemployment compensation. However, there’s an exception for employees who quit “because of a good reason caused by the employer”—if the employees first give employers a chance to correct the problem. One reason that’s not good enough: a schedule change.

You know that you can run into trouble if you treat someone as disabled when they are not. But you’re not in violation of the “perceiving as disabled” provisions of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) every time you notice an employee has a physical problem.

Q. I run a small company with fewer than 50 employees.  I was recently approached by a male employee requesting “paternity leave.”  Must I provide him paid or unpaid leave upon the birth of his newborn child?