Worker returning from FMLA leave? You can refuse to reinstate

Under the law, an employee who takes FMLA leave is entitled to return to the same, or an equivalent, position he or she held when leave started. However, there are situations when employers can refuse to reinstate workers returning from FMLA leave—but only under limited circumstances.

Patience pays off when handling absenteeism

Sometimes, an employer’s most valuable quality is patience. For example, letting an employee take FMLA leave even if you suspect his underlying condition may not really qualify can make the employee’s subsequent lawsuit fall flat.

Back-to-school: How to manage leave requests

The start of each school year brings new responsibilities that pull employees away from work. You may try to be flexible with your parent-workers, but how far you have to bend depends in large part on whether employees are nonexempt or exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state short-term leave laws.

It's OK to address earlier performance problems after employee returns from FMLA leave

Employees who take FMLA leave sometimes think their supervisors aren’t allowed to criticize any performance deficiencies that occurred before the leave began. That’s just not true.

Manage intermittent leave with calendar-year method


Employees who take FMLA intermittent leave can wreak havoc with work schedules. Because their conditions can flare up at any time, their absences are by nature unpredictable. But there are ways you can legally curtail intermittent leave.

Make sure FMLA paperwork arrives promptly

Good HR practices rely on complete and accurate documentation. That’s especially true when it comes to FMLA administration, where noncompliance with notice requirements spurs plenty of lawsuits.

No need to offer indefinite leave as disability accommodation

Sometimes, all a disabled employee needs in order to return to her job is a little bit of additional leave. But there needs to be some sort of estimated return date.

Exactly how not to handle FMLA leave

The FMLA has been around for almost a quarter century now. Employers have no excuse for ignoring the law.

Minneapolis sick and safe leave law takes effect next year

Under the recently passed Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, starting July 1, 2017, employers must allow employees to accrue up to 48 hours of “sick and safe time” each year.

Carefully calculate and communicate how much FMLA leave employee has available

Make sure HR staff know how to calculate FMLA leave and keep careful tabs on how that leave is used. That way, you minimize chances that an employee will receive erroneous information that could lead to a lawsuit alleging that you interfered with someone’s FMLA rights.

Take care when calculating overtime & FMLA

Do you offer voluntary overtime to employees, but make attendance mandatory if employees sign up? If so, watch how you calculate FMLA leave. You have to include the overtime in the calculation of available FMLA hours, or you can’t subtract FMLA hours for an absence.

Discipline with care after FMLA leave: Build solid, performance-based case

Employees can’t be held responsible for work not performed while they are out on FMLA medical leave. But that doesn’t mean employers are powerless to discipline an employee for poor performance that’s not related to the medical leave.

Time to check the FMLA poster on your bulletin board

FMLA compliance may be one of the trickiest parts of an HR pro’s job, but the law’s notification requirements are easy to deal with.

Employers: Display updated FMLA poster

In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new version of the FMLA poster that employers are required to hang in their workplaces. The big question: If you already have an FMLA poster in your workplace, must you display this new version? Here are the details, plus links to the new poster and employer's guide ...

Beware knee-jerk firing after FMLA leave

Employees who return from FMLA leave may not be fully healed. They may, in fact, have developed serious enough medical problems to be disabled under the ADA.
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