The FLSA allows employers to round off an hourly employee’s arrival or departure time to the nearest five minutes, tenth of an hour or quarter of an hour. But your rounding practices can’t always favor the employer. Rounding must be neutral or it must favor the employee. That means if you round down, you must also round up. You have several ways to make rounding fair:
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 suffer from chronic conditions may have to see their doctors regularly. Under the FMLA, if those employees give you 30 days’ notice, they’re allowed to pick the day for their appointment. You can’t simply argue that they don’t need to take off that particular day because there is no emergency or urgency.
Employees returning from military service are entitled to come back to their old jobs, and they have other limited job protections, too. But those protections don’t mean employers can never discipline or demote employees who have been serving in the armed forces. Just make sure you’re doing so for legitimate business reasons, such as documented poor performance.
Q. I have an employee who has been taking FMLA leave to care for her ill mother. The employee’s mother recently died, and the employee has requested an additional few weeks to attend to some issues with her mother’s estate. Can I continue to treat this time as FMLA leave?
Before you decide to fire a troublesome employee for missing work because the absences aren’t covered by the FMLA, double-check your math. In one recent case, the employer fired a “poor-performing” employee but cited a dubious reason: She was frequently absent to care for her father and wasn’t yet eligible for FMLA leave. In fact, it turned out she was eligible and the court wouldn’t buy any of the other discharge reasons.
Q. An employee went out of FMLA leave three weeks ago to undergo and recover from knee surgery. Last night, a reliable and trusted employee spotted him at the local YMCA playing a game of pick-up basketball. We now have serious doubts about the validity of his FMLA leave. Is there anything we can do?
When an employee plans on taking FMLA leave, employers have to plan for the impending absence. That can include reassigning the employee to a less “mission-critical” job or temporarily removing responsibilities. Don’t worry that doing so will trigger a successful FMLA lawsuit.
Q. We have an employee who just told us she needs leave to care for her son, who is in the hospital. What are our time restraints in responding to the request?
Change your policy now if you automatically terminate employees who use up their FMLA leave and can’t yet to return to work without restrictions. That’s because the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination requires employers to start an interactive accommodations process when they learn an employee may be disabled.
Q. How much notice should an employee give an employer before taking FMLA leave?