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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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Q. We granted an employee maternity leave following the birth of her child—12 weeks of leave in accordance with the FMLA. Other than the FMLA, our company has no past practice or policy of granting leave (paid or unpaid) to employees except for their own medical conditions. Our employee claims that we will be discriminating against her because of her pregnancy and status as a new mother if we do not grant her additional leave time. I am aware of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Does it require us to grant our employee additional leave to care for her newborn? ...
Jacqueline Smith worked as a server in the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) John J. Madden Mental Health Center from 2000 to 2004. In September 2003, a co-worker, Eddie Spivey, allegedly called Smith a sexually explicit name while their supervisor, Bella Ynares, was present ...
Q. Our company has an employee who has taken FMLA leave to care for his sick child. His attendance record has been poor, but we have not documented our warnings as well as we should have. Our company has a rule that an employee has 15 days to have the treating doctor sign and return a form certifying the medical condition of the family member who is sick. We never received the signed form. The employee says that his doctor sent it. Can we terminate the employee? ...
Employees sometimes think that just about any minor medical or physical problem is a disability protected under the ADA. Simply put, that just isn’t the case. As the following case shows, being unable to sit for a few hours at a time isn’t a covered disability ...
Some industries are prone to emergencies that suddenly increase the workload. And some companies insist that all employees be available by phone or other means at least part of the time. That doesn’t mean, however, that those subject to a mandatory call-out must be paid for the time they spend waiting for a call ...
When Sean Thornton, of Deltona, was discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 2006, he asked Wal-Mart if he could return to his former job as a cashier. The retail chain refused, and Thornton sued, alleging violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act ...
The New York State Department of Correctional Services (DCS) will pay $972,000 to 23 female DCS employees who were shortchanged by the department’s maternity leave policy when they became pregnant while on workers’ compensation leave ...
Employers can't manipulate the FMLA to terminate employees for taking FMLA leave by trumping up charges. As the following case shows, courts grow very suspicious when employers come up with reasons to fire employees who are on FMLA leave. And they often send such cases to trial, leaving employers at the mercy of juries ...
Are you trying to find ways to get employees to listen during your annual harassment and discrimination training session? Here’s something that should get their attention ...
Employment terminations fall into several categories. Whether the situation involves new hires who didn’t work out, firings for cause or performance issues, or voluntary resignations, terminations often lead to litigation. For each type of termination, there are some common ways employers can make sure they can defend themselves if challenged ...
Q. Our company has about 75 employees scattered throughout 10 offices in the state, with a maximum of 10 in any one office. One of our employees has requested FMLA leave for a serious health condition. Do we have to provide it? ...
If you outsource to another company to administer your FMLA process, work closely with it to ensure you aren’t firing an employee who has been approved for FMLA leave. Instead, make it standard practice to double-check FMLA status before taking any employment action ...
It’s hard enough being a manager, supervisor or HR professional without worrying that a court may second-guess your decisions. It’s even harder in cases where making a mistake means personal liability. Fortunately, you don’t have to add age discrimination claims to those for which you can be held personally liable ...
Q. Our policy requires an employee out on FMLA leave to run any accrued vacation or sick time concurrently with FMLA leave until that time is used up. (At that point, the FMLA leave becomes unpaid.) We also have a short-term disability (STD) policy that kicks in after seven consecutive days and lasts up to eight weeks. A pregnant employee recently requested 10 weeks of FMLA leave, starting upon the birth of her child. She currently has 3½ weeks of accrued vacation time. Can we require her to use up all of her vacation time once she goes out on maternity leave, even though she is also receiving STD payments? ...
Q. Our company is looking to revise and update its employee handbook. This will be the first update in several years. Is there anything specific that we should focus on to make sure that we are up-to-date? ...
If employers take a lackadaisical approach to medical certifications, they might be issuing an invitation to abuse FMLA leave. Remind your employees that they must provide FMLA certifications—and that refusing to cooperate will result in the time off being counted as unexcused absences. The consequence: possible termination ...
The FMLA entitles employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to deal with a serious health condition. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should immediately terminate an employee who can’t return to her job right away. That could violate the ADA ...
Q. An employee told us he has a bad hernia. He wants to wait a couple of months to have an operation, since the surgery requires a six-week recovery period. He does some lifting in his job. Yesterday, he went home early because he was in pain. Now that we are aware of his condition, what’s our liability? And what should we do? ...
Q. We’re a small business with eight employees. One employee frequently takes off for six to eight weeks with medical problems. She’s done this each year for the past three years. It’s a huge burden because very few people have her training. We can’t hire a temp. How long do we have to allow her to disappear for months at a time? ...
As “sandwich generation” employees begin caring for their parents in addition to their kids, you can expect more requests for FMLA leave to tend to mom’s and dad’s medical needs. The FMLA allows employee leave to provide parental care—if the parent’s medical condition actually qualifies for FMLA leave. A federal court says you can ask for medical certification.
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