FMLA

No accommodation request, no unemployment benefits

12/05/2014
Some employees who quit for health reasons may be entitled to unemployment compensation. But that’s only true if they first give their employers a chance to consider possible accommodations.

Remind managers and supervisors: No comments about pregnancy, family planning

12/05/2014
When it comes to pregnancy announcements, the only appropriate response is a hearty “Con­­grat­­u­­lations!” Keep your thoughts on family size, birth control and other pregnancy-related concerns to yourself and warn others to follow suit.

When FMLA resentment turns into harassment

12/01/2014
FMLA rules say that employers, “are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee for having exercised or at­tempted to exercise any FMLA right.” That’s why it’s important to remind supervisors (and all employees) that the FMLA is a legal right and taking it should never be grounds for criticism or punishment.

FMLA may cover some independent contractors

11/13/2014
A federal appeals court has cast doubt on the longstanding belief that independent contractors are never “employees” under the FMLA.

Explain FMLA benefits to employees before they hit their one-year anniversary

11/07/2014
Employees have to wait a year before becoming eligible for FMLA leave. But it’s wise to let them know about the law—and the benefits it provides—before they reach that one-year anniversary.

Put an immediate stop to co-worker harassment over FMLA use

11/05/2014
Some supervisors and co-workers who don’t have children may resent having to pick up the perceived slack while the new mom or dad is home with their bundle of joy. The same may be true if other employees view someone’s FMLA use as frivolous or unnecessary. When co-workers or supervisors ridicule other employees for using FMLA leave, that may be retaliation.

Is it OK to substitute paid leave for FMLA leave?

11/03/2014
Q. May an employee substitute paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave?

How far do we have to go to provide work when an employee returns from FMLA leave?

11/03/2014
Q. I am the owner of a security services company. One of my rank-and-file employees is currently on leave from work under the FMLA. Due to an economic downturn, I have been forced to reduce the number of shifts available to my employees. If there is no longer a shift available for this employee when he returns from FMLA leave, am I be required to find or create a shift for him?

Two laws, one condition: ADA disability doesn't necessarily warrant FMLA leave

10/31/2014
Some employers think disabled employees are automatically eligible for FMLA leave in addition to being entitled to reasonable accommodations. That’s not always true.

FMLA claim may come separately from others

10/27/2014

Generally, employees have to file EEOC discrimination complaints if they want to go to federal court with their claims. The EEOC eventually will issue a right-to-sue letter, giving the employee 90 days to commence litigation. But that can take years. If the employee waits to file a re­­lated FMLA lawsuit, she may be out of luck, since FMLA claims must be filed within two years of the alleged wrongful conduct.

Managing pregnant employees: Know the law

10/24/2014
When an employee tells you she’s pregnant, it may bring on mixed emotions for supervisors. While you’re happy for the employee, you’re anxious about the impact on scheduling, productivity—and whether she will quit after the birth. Another important issue to consider: the legal risks.

Push for more paid leave gets boost from federal funding

10/24/2014
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau and Employment and Training Administration have awarded $500,000 to help four states pay for feasibility studies on paid leave.

Feel free to discipline employees even if you discover wrongdoing during FMLA leave

10/14/2014
Some employees mistakenly believe that if they can just get FMLA leave approved, their employer can’t discharge them. Fortunately, that’s not true.

When is an employee covered by the FMLA?

10/07/2014
Q. An employee has worked for us for 12 months, but the service has not been consecutive. Does he still qualify for leave under the FMLA?

Court: Don't send FMLA notices via snail mail

09/30/2014
Typically, courts have recognized the “mailbox rule,” in which documents sent by regular postal mail are assumed to have reached the designated person. But a federal appeals court ruling is making employers question whether sending FMLA notices via regular mail is still acceptable.
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