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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 are unable to perform anything but sedentary work may be disabled under the ADA. That means employers may have to find ways to accommodate them, including finding open positions for them to fill elsewhere within the company.

Q. Are we obligated to provide paid leave so one of our employees can attend a mandatory school meeting concerning his child?

Employees sometimes think taking FMLA leave—or even just asking for the time off—protects them from being disciplined or discharged. Not so. Employers are free to discipline or discharge employees if they can show they would have taken the same action even if the employee never asked for or received FMLA leave.

Employees who need FMLA leave don’t have to specifically say so. They just have to give enough information to let their employers know they may have a serious health condition. That’s why you need to train supervisors to let HR handle all leave requests involving health problems of any sort.

Employees who take their full 12 weeks of FMLA leave and can’t return to work lose their FMLA job protection. But that doesn’t mean they’re not still protected by the ADA. In fact, if an employee who can’t yet return to work asks for a reasonable accommodation—such as additional time off or a reduced schedule until she is ready for full-time work—you should consider the request.

Lawyers are always looking for new and different reasons to sue employers on behalf of employees and applicants. That’s bad news for employers, because additional charges mean greater legal costs, more lost time and potentially higher jury awards. Fortunately, courts are growing impatient with this practice ...

Employers sometimes have the mistaken belief that employees with serious health conditions who have used up all their FMLA leave can be terminated if they can’t return to work. That’s simply wrong. In fact, those employees may be entitled to reasonable accommodations—including additional time off—under the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law.

Q. We have an employee out on a medical leave who is collecting short-term disability benefits. We have also designated the leave as FMLA leave. Our FMLA policy allows us to require the employee to use accumulated paid leave benefits concurrently with FMLA leave. Can we reduce this employee’s paid leave bank for the FMLA time he is taking?

In January 2009, the DOL issued new FMLA regulations that incorporated the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, which granted new leave rights to family members of employees in the military. The regulations, for the first time, defined what a “qualifying exigency” is under the law that entitles military families to take leave. Qualified exigencies are divided into seven categories:

Congress is considering emergency legislation that would guarantee five paid sick days for workers directed to stay home by their employer for a contagious illness, such as the H1N1 flu virus. Although passage is far from certain, the Emergency Influenza Containment Act is a bill worth monitoring.