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.

Attorneys seem intent on finding some form of discrimination in every adverse employment decision—and courts seem increasingly inclined to go along. Consider this recent case, in which a pregnant black employee won the right to a jury trial on race and national-origin discrimination based on the allegation that a white pregnant employee was treated better.

Employees who suffer from some psychological disorders may need a less stressful environment. But if being stressed out at work is the only impairment the underlying condition causes, chances are they won’t meet the definition of “disabled” under the ADA. Therefore they aren’t entitled to an ADA accommodation.

Some HR departments are notorious for keeping every stack of paper indefinitely, while others fail to keep enough. Neither approach is acceptable, and it’s up to you to maintain a happy medium that complies with the law. Proper record-keeping is one of an HR professional’s core duties. Knowing what legally must be kept and for how long are important aspects of that duty.

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 ...

Q. When can we deny an employee FMLA leave because of hardship? We have only two nurses, and one is going out on FMLA leave so the other must be present.

Our friends at the law firm of Fisher & Phillips LLP recently published this entertaining look at the employment law year that was. From A (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) to Z (zealously), 2009 was a busy year for those who track employment law trends.