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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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Is your HR office short-handed? That could spell big trouble, especially if supervisors have to handle personnel matters without HR’s help. Short-staffed or not, make sure bosses know they must consult HR on key employment law issues.
When an employee requests time off for an FMLA-related reason, you should inform her she may be eligible and provide information on how to request leave. But sometimes, the employee may not want to use FMLA leave. Don’t force her.

Employees who take FMLA leave are not immune to discipline discovered while they are out on FMLA leave or after they return to work.

Follow these guides to crafting your company's sick-leave policy.

Employees have up to two years after a request for FMLA leave is denied to file an FMLA interference lawsuit unless the violation was willful.

How you handle disability accommodation requests may determine whether a worker receives unemployment compensation if you terminate her after she’s used up all her leave.

Except in very rare circumstances, an employer isn’t obligated to provide an accommodation for a disabled worker who doesn’t ask for one. Otherwise, employers would be stuck having to read their employees’ minds.

Some employers like to keep résumés and applications on hand just in case they need to fill a position on short notice. But running frequent ads to generate up-to-date résumés can backfire if you end up terminating someone, even for good cause. He might try to argue that your ad proves you were planning to fire him even before the supposed triggering event occurred.

Employees with disabilities who are also eligible for FMLA leave have limited protection from discharge if they miss work because of complications related to their disabilities. However, employers also have a legitimate right to expect workers to show up for work most of the time.

A Tennessee employer faces an EEOC lawsuit alleging it unlawfully fired a worker after she asked for leave to deal with her anxiety. The case highlights an HR imperative: When dealing with an employee who has medical problems, you may need to consider the ADA in addition to the FMLA.

Workers who are fired for breaking a workplace rule generally aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. That’s because rule-breaking may constitute willful misconduct, which bars benefits.

Employees who are out on FMLA leave don’t enjoy any special protection against being fired for unrelated reasons. If you can show you would have terminated the worker even if she had not taken FMLA leave, chances are the termination won’t be seen as FMLA interference or retaliation for taking FMLA leave. However, such a move will probably trigger a lawsuit anyway.

If someone didn’t foresee the need for leave (for example, because a medical condition flared up suddenly), don’t turn them down just because they waited overnight to ask for time off.

Here are four common issues involving communications with employees during their FMLA leave.

When a disabled employee wants to return to work, limitations may make it impossible for him to do his old job. If so, it may be reasonable to either grant more leave or reassign the employee—or both.

Sometimes, an employee with a blemished disciplinary history may think he will be protected from termination if he takes FMLA leave. But the FMLA right to return isn’t absolute.

Under the FMLA, employees have two years to sue for alleged violations—extended to three years if the violation is “willful.” But not every FMLA mistake is a willful violation.

If you generously provide extra leave for employees who run out of FMLA leave, be sure to document it. Should the employee later accuse your organization of FMLA retaliation, the fact that you approved subsequent leave can demonstrate your good faith.

Employees who find themselves criticized for lower productivity or missed deadlines because they were out may have a legitimate FMLA interference or retaliation claim.

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.

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