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 — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 80
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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. 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.
Do you have employees who work for you full time, but also work elsewhere part time? If so, a recent California Supreme Court decision may affect how you handle requests for California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leave ...

Q. We recently learned that a new law was passed allowing the spouses of military personnel to take unpaid leave. Is this true? ...

Q. I’m confused about medical certifications and employees who don’t want to use FMLA leave. Can I, if I believe the employee is out for an FMLA condition, force him to take FMLA leave? — A. B., Florida ...
Q. I’ve heard that if both parents work for the same company and they have a child, they’re only allowed to take a combined 12 weeks of FMLA leave. Is that true? — J.S., Pennsylvania
For better or worse, intermittent FMLA leave sometimes has the effect of turning a full-time job into a de facto part-time one. That means an employee taking intermittent leave probably won’t get everything done. it’s up to the employer to figure out how to fill the gap ...
Some lawsuits are based on just a few careless comments from a supervisor. That’s especially true in cases involving employees who take time off under the FMLA. Managers who refer to these problems as “distractions” and comment on their impact on the workplace are inviting employees to sue ...
Q. We are a small shop with 15 employees. One of our full-time employees who has been with us for more than five years recently announced that his wife is pregnant. He requested eight weeks’ leave after the baby is born. Are we required to give him this leave? ...
Employees who claim they qualify for FMLA leave because of a short illness have to show that they went to a doctor and were incapacitated for three days. But the three days don’t have to be workdays—they can include days off ...
Q. We lease some of our workers from an agency. The agency handles all personnel needs of its employees, but our supervisors provide day-to-day direction to the workers. One of our agency employees, Jane, informed the agency that she was taking FMLA leave for her pregnancy. While Jane was out on leave, the agency supplied us with a replacement, Mary. Jane’s FMLA leave is over, and the agency wants to send her back. We would prefer to keep Mary. Does the FMLA oblige us to let Mary go and bring Jane back? ...
For determining reinstatement rights under the FMLA, it’s the job the employee was in at the time she began her FMLA leave that counts. As long as the job she returns to is substantially equivalent, it does not matter that the job may be below her capacities and educational background ...
In safety-conscious environments—such as in the medical and food industries—employees who become ill often face questions about their health from co-workers and associates. That’s only natural. But sometimes, inquiries about an employee’s illness are simply off-limits ...
Election year politics has a strange way of focusing employers and employees on the larger issues—such as jobs, wages and the economy. HR pros should pay attention to election year buzz. Knowing what’s on employees’ minds as they go to the polls can help savvy employers get a glimpse of the future workplace.
Q. We recently could not reach an employee who works off-site. Then we learned he was responding to customer messages by saying he was on vacation. After we learned this, he contacted his supervisor and said he had been on vacation and would be on vacation the rest of the week. His supervisor reports that he had not requested vacation time beforehand—and our policy states that vacation time must be preapproved. This employee had been a marginal performer, and now his supervisor wants to fire him. Can we fire him for this? ...
When employees take leave to deal with serious health conditions, inform them that you plan to charge that time against their allotment of unpaid FMLA leave. If you fail to do so, it will be relatively easy for her to sue and show she was harmed by the lack of notice ...
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