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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.

Q. An employee who’s been employed since May is out on workers’ comp and will be for a while. Do I send her FMLA paperwork even though she hasn’t met the criteria of being employed for at least a year? It’s my understanding that I should send it to everyone who requests leave, and only after they return the paperwork should I determine if the person is, in fact, eligible.

A federal district court in New Jersey recently approved a settlement in an employment discrimination case where an employee received both front pay and back pay. Hashing out the settlement figure, however, was the easy part. Both sides were confused about how to treat the pay for tax purposes. Do IRS regulations consider both front pay and back pay to be wages?

When an employee is discharged shortly after returning from FMLA leave, she may charge retaliation. The timing alone may be enough to send the case to trial. If an employer has a solid reason for the firing, however, it can win.

Employers have to meet thresholds before they’re required to comply with most statutes. For example, the FMLA applies only to organizations that employ 50 or more employees within 75 miles. But smaller employers can effectively render themselves covered by the FMLA if they make certain representations about FMLA coverage to their employees. If they say the FMLA applies, then it does. That’s commonly referred to as coverage-by-estoppel.

Of course, employees have the right to take protected FMLA leave. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take action you already planned to take for other legitimate reasons before you found out the employee needed FMLA leave.

Do you require employees to sign an agreement to arbitrate workplace disputes as a condition of employment? If so, you don’t lose the right to force the case into arbitration if you don’t ask for it during an EEOC investigation.

Pregnant women have many legal protections under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the FMLA. They rarely, however, qualify as disabled. That’s because normal pregnancies may create temporary difficulties, but they’re not severe enough to count as substantial limitations ...

Employees who take leave under the FMLA or the New Jersey Family Leave Act are entitled to return to the same or an equivalent position.

Q. If an employee is already on probation when she becomes pregnant, can we continue progressive discipline measures, including possible discharge?

Employers must deal with employees being called to military service, even if that forces them to do more work with fewer people during the current economic crunch. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and the FMLA grant special rights to employees who also serve in the armed forces. Some managers may resent the burden the laws cause. Too bad.