Unplanned absences can disrupt even the best-run workplaces. Of course, you don’t want truly sick employees to come to work if they have some contagious illness. Nor do you want to discourage employees from taking legitimate FMLA leave. Your challenge as an employer: Craft and enforce an attendance policy that allows or even encourages legitimate sick leave use while discouraging abuse.
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. An employee’s girlfriend is pregnant and having some complications. He has asked for time off to care for her until the baby is born. What are his rights?
Employers know they may have to accommodate disabled employees by granting additional time off. But what about employees who, although they aren’t disabled, still claim run-of-the-mill illnesses prevent them from working? You can and should set strict standards for further leave.
One unhappy employee may not have much of an effect on your organization, even if she sues. But watch out! Handle the lawsuit poorly and you could see litigation grow as co-workers join in.
If you discharge an employee after she exhausts time off available through the FMLA, sick leave and other benefits, she may still be eligible for unemployment compensation. That’s true even if her absenteeism violated a company attendance policy.
Employees who are called to active military service have certain job protections, including the right to return to their old or similar jobs. But those rights have limits. The law doesn’t require reinstating a veteran to her old job at the same facility where she worked before if the employer no longer has jobs there.
Q. Can an employer ask a job applicant whether he or she can meet the company’s attendance policy?
Looking to get sued? Just throw the book at an employee whom you would just as soon see resign. That’s especially true if she has just engaged in some form of protected activity like asking for FMLA leave.
Here’s a cautionary tale if you’re tempted to throw together a quick liability release without paying an attorney.