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.

You wouldn’t think a Pentagon budget bill would affect HR, but the 2010 Department of Defense appropriations law does—by expanding the military family leave amendments to the FMLA that were enacted last year. The legislation provided two new kinds of leave for employees with close relatives serving on active duty in the armed forces:

Q. An employee who is unable to work has been out on FMLA for the past few weeks. Our holiday party is coming up next week. Should I allow her to attend if she wants to?

Discrimination against employees because of their family caregiving duties has become a hotbed for litigation against employers, and every indication is that this trend will continue. So it’s critical for employers to recognize the potential for liability and take necessary steps to avoid being the next defendant. Here's how.

Here's a collection of creative employee benefits programs, excerpted from our Compensation & Benefits newsletter: 1. Expectant and new moms get help from co-worker "buddies." 2. Shopping-spree contest helps boost sales, morale. 3. Cash advances help workers dress for success. 4. Employee committees choose company wellness programs. 5. Company pays employees to leave their cars at home. 6. Deployed workers get full pay, benefits and care packages. 7. Medical firm picks reality TV star as its "wellness ambassador." 8. British firm pays for "Botox leave."

Can an employer that has fewer than 50 employees within 75 miles of the company’s work site willingly yet unwittingly be bound to provide its employees with FMLA rights and benefits? Maybe so. In Reaux v. Infohealth Management Corp., a federal judge recently ruled that employers that are not otherwise required to provide FMLA leave could wind up subjecting themselves to the FMLA by promising it to employees.

Employers that round off the time on employees’ time sheets must do so in a way that doesn’t cheat hourly employees out of pay in the long run. That means that if you round down, you must also round up. Otherwise, your time records won’t reflect all hours worked, leading to potential violations of overtime and other wage-and-hour laws.

Employees who suffer from chronic conditions may have to see their doctors regularly. Under the FMLA, if those employees give you 30 days’ notice, they’re allowed to pick the day for their appointment. You can’t simply argue that they don’t need to take off that particular day because there is no emergency or urgency.

Employers don’t have to put up with employees who pose a safety hazard to others—or to themselves. While suicidal behavior at work may indicate that an employee is suffering from a serious health condition (covered under the FMLA) or a mental disability (covered under the ADA), it isn’t an excuse for violating established safety rules.

Some employees have learned how to play the FMLA game very well. For example, you may notice a suspicious Monday-Friday pattern of intermittent leave for an illness. If you really believe an employee is trying to pull a fast one, don’t play the termination card right away. Instead, your first—and safest—option is to request a medical certification stating the employee has a serious health condition.

Employers don’t have to put up with employees who pose a safety hazard to others—or themselves. While suicidal behavior may indicate an employee is suffering from a serious health condition under the FMLA or a disability under the ADA, it isn’t an excuse for violating safety rules.