FMLA

Is early termination OK when employee who is on FMLA submits her resignation?

04/13/2015
Q. An employee who is off on an approved FMLA leave just submitted her resignation, providing two weeks’ notice. Our employee handbook asks employees to provide a two-week notice when possible. May we terminate the employee’s employment immediately rather than wait two weeks?

Routine medical care doesn't trigger FMLA

04/13/2015
The FMLA is supposed to protect employees from losing their jobs when they can’t work due to a serious health condition. Minor maladies such as colds, headaches and body aches usually aren’t enough to merit protected leave. That’s true even if the employee goes to a doctor and gets a prescription, unless the health care provider also tells the worker to return within 30 days for a follow up or otherwise actively monitors the illness.

Prepare to justify termination by citing business reasons unrelated to FMLA leave

04/13/2015
Employees on FMLA don’t earn protection against legitimate discipline for reasons unrelated to FMLA leave.

Always directly inform worker of his FMLA rights

04/03/2015
You risk a lawsuit if you don’t advise employees of their FMLA rights. Employees are entitled to individual notice so they can make informed decisions about when to return to work.

Court halts new FMLA same-sex marriage rule

04/02/2015
A federal district court in Texas has issued an injunction preventing—at least temporarily—the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing a final rule granting FMLA rights to legally married same-sex spouses.

Discipline for attendance during FMLA leave?

04/01/2015
Q. Before we could counsel an employee about ongoing attendance problems, she was approved for intermittent FMLA to care for her mother. However, she continues to have attendance problems unrelated to her FMLA leave. Can we proceed with counseling and possible disciplinary actions while she is under FMLA?

Manage interplay of all state and federal laws affecting pregnant employee's leave rights

03/23/2015
California has one of the nation’s most complex set of laws covering employees who need time off for illness, disability, pregnancy and parenting. Federal and state laws combine to create a complicated mess.

What is the protocol on asking for doctors' notes?

03/23/2015
Q. When an employee calls off sick for more than one day, is there a minimum amount of days off required before an employer can ask for a doctor’s note? Can we ask the specific reason for the absence?

Consider extended leave as accommodation if disabled employee is likely to return to work

03/11/2015
Before rejecting a disabled employee’s request for additional time off as a reasonable accommodation, consider whether the time would allow the employee to return. If not, you probably won’t have to provide the additional leave.

Carefully document discipline after FMLA leave

03/11/2015

When slapped with discipline shortly after taking FMLA leave, some employees jump to the conclusion that it’s retaliation for taking time off. That would be illegal, and could prompt a lawsuit. Don’t make their legal case easy.

Employee leave: When must you grant it to accommodate disabilities?

03/10/2015
The goal of leave is “to provide job-protected time in order to enable a qualified employee with a disability to manage his or her medical impairment and ultimately remain in the workforce.” Follow these guidelines when granting it.

Remind bosses: Don't comment or ask details about employee doctor visits

03/09/2015
Warn supervisors that they should avoid making derisive comments when employees take time off for medical treatments. If the underlying medical condition is a disability under the ADA, such comments may come back later to haunt the employer.

Invoke FMLA when employee can't perform essential functions of the job

03/05/2015

Sometimes a pregnant employee develops problems that amount to a temporary disability. But to be protected under the ADA, an employee with disabilities must be able “to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.” If she can’t perform the essential functions, you can place her on FMLA leave.

Require health clearance before FMLA return

03/05/2015
When one of your employees takes FMLA leave, you may require a fitness-for-duty exam showing she is fully able to perform her job before you allow her to return. As long as you require everyone who takes FMLA leave to undergo such exams, the rules authorize you to discharge workers who can’t or don’t provide certification before their return.

Firing for attendance? FMLA doesn't count

03/03/2015
Here’s something to remember when you are ready to dismiss an employee for poor attendance: You can’t use any FMLA leave as a negative factor, and you can’t include any FMLA leave when tallying absences.
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