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.

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Employers have every right to terminate employees who can’t come to work on time—but not for taking FMLA leave.
Frequently, absenteeism problems arise because a company has no clear policy on the issue. A company policy statement should be distributed to all employees, indicating when and under what conditions an employee will be paid (or not paid) for absences.

Most bosses understand they can’t use ethnic or racial slurs, but many don’t understand that the same common sense applies to discussing topics such as family planning. What sorts of comments are off limits? Just about anything that could make an employee think a supervisor might count it against her if she used FMLA leave.

Q. One of our employees works different hours each week—sometimes 30 hours a week, sometimes 40. She will be going on FMLA leave soon. We’re not sure how to determine how many hours of leave she would be entitled to take under the FMLA. Are all employees permitted to take 480 hours of leave?
Here’s food for thought: HR professionals and managers who terminate an employee for trying to get the benefits he is due under the FMLA or a company benefit plan are personally liable for the resulting harm.
Q. One of our salaried supervisors has informed us that he needs to take two hours off work each week for the next two months to undergo medical treatment. His physician has certified his illness as a “serious health condition” under the FMLA. May we reduce his pay for the time he will miss work, or are we required to continue to pay his full salary to retain his exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act?

A federal judge has approved a $6.2 million settlement agreement between Chicago-based retail giant Sears and the EEOC. The settlement comes after the commission determined last year that Sears’ policy of terminating disabled employees rather than negotiating reasonable accommodations violated the ADA.

In today’s economic climate, you might be tempted to forgo hiring a temp to fill in for an employee who’s out on FMLA leave. Especially if you initially believe the employee won’t be gone long, what’s the harm? But what will you do if the employee returns to a huge pile of work left undone during her absence? Think twice before you tell her to catch up or else.

Plenty of organizations offer flexible schedules, allow telework and let parents slip out early once in a while to catch a child’s soccer game. But in many workplaces, those benefits are perks that only managers and white-collar workers enjoy. Yet several studies show that when low-wage employees have some flexibility in their hours, teamwork improves and unscheduled absences abate. If your organization’s lower-wage employees are candidates for flex, consider these eight strategies.

Q. We recently heard from a co-worker that an employee (“Mike”) seemed to be having some health issues. Mike hasn’t said anything to his supervisor or anyone else as far as we know. What can we say?

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