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.
Some employees seem to think that if they are approved for FMLA leave, their employers have to accept their time off as legitimate. That’s true to a point. But it doesn’t mean employers can’t ferret out leave abuse if they have reason to believe the employee isn’t being honest.
When an employee returns from FMLA leave and his employer assigns him to light-duty work, that is basically an acknowledgment that the employee has a serious health condition incapacitating enough to interfere with performing an essential job function. The employer can’t later challenge that part of FMLA eligibility.
Here’s something to remember when an employee claims she has a disability that interferes with her ability to work overtime or even a full day. You can offer intermittent FMLA leave as a reasonable accommodation rather than restructuring the job or transferring the employee to another open position. Remember, the employer, not the employee, gets to pick the ADA accommodation.
The Texas Supreme Court has vacated a jury verdict in favor of a former employee who had alleged workers’ compensation retaliation, rendering judgment in favor of the employer.
Employers are supposed to let employees who need FMLA leave know about their eligibility and what’s involved in taking leave. But what if you offer a leave plan that goes above and beyond what the FMLA requires? Courts won’t hold that against you—even if you flub the FMLA’s notice requirements.
Q: “If an employee was on FMLA leave and has exhausted the 12 weeks, but has not made contact with the company (to state that they are desiring to come back to work, or to request an extension of the leave), and their phone numbers and email are no longer in service, how long is the company required to wait before termination of employment?” - Martin, Minnesota
If you have to make a schedule change after someone returns from FMLA leave, be sure you have legitimate business reasons.
Employers are free to set neutral call-off policies that punish even FMLA-protected absences. Just make sure you enforce your rules fairly and consistently. Don’t punish some employees but not others.
Q. We have an employee who was employed with our company from May, 2010 until April, 2011. The employee was rehired in 2015 and worked approximately nine months. Has the employee satisfied the requirement of 12 months of employment despite the three-year gap in employment under the FMLA?
Add this to your list of factors to check before implementing a reduction in force: Make sure there’s no pattern of terminating those who happened to have taken FMLA leave.