The HR Specialist — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 311
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The HR Specialist

Are you concerned about possible FMLA abuse? The law and FMLA regulations allow employers to insist on receiving FMLA certification forms directly from a health care provider’s office—and not by way of the employee. That way, there’s little chance the employee can alter what the doctor has certified …

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If your organization is generous about extending leave beyond the 12 weeks of unpaid time off the FMLA mandates, take heart. You can and should set whatever requirements you deem reasonable for taking that extra leave. The best part: According to a recent 11th Circuit decision, you don’t have to abide by the FMLA’s reinstatement rules if employees have already used up their protected FMLA leave …

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Georgia employers have long believed they were off the hook when employees failed to file EEOC discrimination complaints within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. But employees who charge race discrimination under a previously little-known post-Civil War discrimination law aren’t bound by the 180-day limit …

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Ann Weichman, an account underwriter at Chubb, was a pain to supervise because she was so frequently late for work. Then, a few days after Weichman took FMLA leave, she was late for nonmedical reasons. The company had had enough and fired her. She sued for retaliation and interference with her FMLA rights …

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Q. Now that summer is here, we have received applications from students under the age of 18 seeking seasonal employment with our company. Are there any requirements or restrictions that we need to be aware of before we hire a minor? …

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Q. Several of our job descriptions have not been revised in decades. What type of information should we include in the updated descriptions? …

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Test your knowledge of recent trends in employment law, comp & benefits and other HR issues with our mini-quiz. If you’re unhappy with your score, browse around www.theHRSpecialist.com, where you’ll find answers to tons of your HR questions. If you aced the quiz, give yourself the afternoon off!

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Q. We suspect an employee has been getting high at work. Over the past two weeks, co-workers have reported that the employee’s pupils were dilated and her speech was slurred. She stares out the window for extended periods of time, she fell while walking down the hall, her appearance is disheveled, and she takes multiple “rest breaks” to go to her car throughout the day. We want to search the employee’s car, but she refuses to let us. Can we search her car anyway? …

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If your organization plans to lay off employees, make sure you don’t target anyone for a furlough because of a workers’ comp claim or prior injury. That’s why it’s a good idea for someone in HR to audit the layoff list for any apparent retaliation …

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Balancing business needs against employees’ legitimate FMLA rights is one of the hardest parts of managing absenteeism. Now there’s one less thing to worry about. A new case makes it clear that you don’t have to request an FMLA certification every time an employee calls in sick …

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