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 81
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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. An employee worked for us for years, took four years off to have a child and was rehired nine months ago. She asked for time off because her child needed surgery. We refused because we thought she was not FMLA-eligible. After we terminated her for an unauthorized leave of absence, we received a nasty letter from her attorney threatening to sue us for violating her rights under the FMLA. Who’s right?
Here’s a new Florida case you should be aware of. A federal district court judge has allowed an FMLA interference case to go forward based on an employee’s testimony that she was absent due to a serious health condition when her employer terminated her.
When it comes to FMLA leave, many employers have internal procedures that are somewhat stricter than those specified in the FMLA. That doesn’t mean, however, that employers shouldn’t be flexible under emergency circumstances. Holding an employee to an impossible requirement won’t fly with courts.
Doctors sometimes tell pregnant employees they can’t lift anything in excess of a certain weight. If the job requires such lifting, there is nothing to prevent the employer from placing the pregnant worker on FMLA leave.
An employee’s request to take FMLA leave can be frustrating for supervisors who have to manage schedules and projects. But if they voice those concerns in a way that seems angry or annoyed, they may be creating the perfect storm for an FMLA interference lawsuit. Remind them to accept FMLA requests professionally, without emotion.
Many employers use a point system to punish absenteeism, firing employees who accumulate too many points. Such a system negates the need to track the total number of hours of work an employee misses, since the employer is counting points rather than time.
The Obama administration DOL has already implemented some FMLA regulatory changes, and a new study indicates that more changes may be on the way.
Q. I am a small employer with a group medical plan. If an employee takes an approved unpaid leave of absence, am I required to continue my premium subsidy during the unpaid leave? We have 22 employees and aren’t required to comply with FMLA.
Last year’s FMLA regulations gave employers new powers to demand notification from employees. But while you can now hold employees to your “usual and customary” notice procedures when they’re notifying you of unexpected FMLA leave, you must allow some flexibility for emergency circumstances.
You’ve had it up to here. Now it’s time to fire a poor performing employee. As you’re about to do so, the employee wants to tell you something. But you tell her to “zip it.” Nothing she says will change your mind. As this case shows, you better zip it yourself and listen. Here’s why …
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