Patience pays off when handling disabled employee's return-to-work issues

Patience has its rewards, especially when dealing with a newly disabled employee who might not be able to return to her job.

Make sure employees know their FMLA rights

FMLA administration is a top frustration to HR professionals.

Indefinite leave is not a reasonable accommodation

Sometimes, 12 weeks of FMLA leave isn’t long enough for workers to recover from illness or injury. But, indefinite leave does not have to be accommodated.

An FMLA snafu can lead to personal liability

Here’s something to consider when handling an FMLA request: If you botch the request, you could be held personally liable for any damages.

How to collect medical info under the FMLA rules

To determine whether an employee or family member has a condition that meets the FMLA’s definition of “serious health condition,” employers should review the medical certification they receive from the employee’s health care provider.

What's an FMLA 'serious health condition'?

First things first when determining how to handle a request for FMLA leave: Does the employee (or a loved one) have a “serious health condition” that qualifies for FMLA leave?

Can we require employees to provide advance notice that they will need FMLA leave?

Q. One of our employees notified us that he will need to take leave under the FMLA. Can we require employees to give us more advance notice?

Employee can't fully return from FMLA? Explore accommodations before firing

Some employees who need to take FMLA leave may be newly disabled or suffer from serious health conditions that develop into disabilities. If they are not fully healed, they may not be able to obtain a doctor’s clearance to return to work.

Explore light-duty jobs for pregnant employees

Recent EEOC guidance makes it clear that employers that provide light-duty for employees with medical limitations must do so for pregnant workers, too.

FMLA reveals poor performance? Discipline

Sometimes, it takes an absence to discover that an employee wasn’t doing her job well. But some HR professionals and supervisors fear disciplining a worker if they discover the poor performance while she is on FMLA leave.

It's perfectly legal to ask for FMLA documentation

Don’t be afraid to ask employees for documentation showing that they qualify for FMLA leave. Unless you are actively harassing the worker about taking leave, asking for certification or more information doesn’t interfere with his FMLA rights.

FMLA 'serious' health conditions: Who decides and how?

One of the trickiest parts of administering FMLA benefits is figuring out whether an employee’s health condition qualifies for leave. Who makes that decision … and how? Follow these steps to verify and certify an employee’s right to FMLA leave.

Not ready for work after FMLA expires? Consider more leave as ADA accommodation

Do you automatically terminate employees who aren’t ready to return to work after using up their FMLA leave? That may be okay under the FMLA.

FMLA retaliation requires 'but for' proof

Employees who claim they were fired for taking FMLA leave must show that taking leave was the sole reason they were fired—what’s known as the “but-for” cause.

DOL initiating more FMLA enforcement

You don’t have to be sued to lose an FMLA case.
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