FMLA Guidelines — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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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.

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Where an employer is located makes a difference when it comes to defeating an employee’s FMLA retaliation lawsuit. That’s because different federal courts use different standards for what an employee needs to prove to win a retaliation case under the FMLA.

While the legal requirements to retain records are complex, you're probably safe in dumping those 1984 vacation-day requests. Still, knowing which records to save or toss can be critical to your business, particularly in defending against a lawsuit.

Q. Can we ask an employee who is on FMLA leave to come in to discuss the possibility of applying for a promotion? Might it be better to discuss this by phone?
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed a victory to employers that struggle with employees who misuse FMLA leave—particularly intermittent FMLA leave. The court held that an employer’s honest belief that its employee misused FMLA leave was sufficient to defeat an FMLA retaliation claim, even if the employer was mistaken.
Q. Is it OK to contact an employee during FMLA leave or ask him or her to come in to the office?
Do you have a companywide policy that requires all workers who are out on leave to get a doctor’s certification that they are completely healed before they can return to work? Such a rule may run afoul of the ADA.
When preparing a performance review, remind supervisors that they should never mention FMLA leave or appear to use it as a factor in the evaluation. That can lead to a big jury award later if the review is used to justify termination—even during a reduction in force.
Employees out on FMLA leave don’t enjoy more job protection than employees who don’t take leave. As long as an employer doesn’t terminate because an employee took FMLA leave, it’s perfectly lawful to fire someone during leave.

Employers expect employees to get to work on time. Occasional problems with traffic or family issues sometimes make employees late. But chronic tardiness is another thing altogether. While most employers track tardiness occurrences, they should do more. How?

Punishing a worker for using FMLA leave is illegal retaliation—and the punishment doesn’t have to be something big like termination. Even seemingly minor acts can qualify as retaliation if they would dissuade a reasonable worker from using FMLA leave in the first place.
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