FMLA

Spell out FMLA rules before worker is eligible

09/19/2014
Employees have to wait a year before becoming eligible for FMLA leave. But you should let them know about the law and what benefits it provides before they hit their one-year anniversary. This is especially true if you have been denying time off for a serious health condition during the first year.

Discipline for problems discovered during FMLA

09/17/2014
Some employees seem to think that their employer can’t punish them for violating company rules if they happen to be on FMLA leave when their employer finds out. They think the FMLA protects them broadly from consequences. For­­tu­­nately, that’s just not true.

Why do workers take FMLA leave?

09/16/2014
According to a new Department of Labor report, these are the top reasons workers take FMLA leave.

Common sense: It's OK to urge employee to use paid leave instead of unpaid FMLA

09/02/2014
Most employers try to run unpaid FMLA leave concurrently with other paid leave, such as sick leave. But sometimes, it may be simpler to encourage the employee to just take a few days of paid vacation or personal leave rather than dealing with the FMLA paperwork. That’s OK.

Used all the official FMLA forms? 3rd Circuit says that may not be enough

09/02/2014
You might believe that an employee couldn’t argue she didn’t know she was on FMLA leave or that she might lose her job if she didn’t return to work within 12 weeks. You would be wrong.

Consider FMLA before firing for attendance

09/02/2014
Here’s some advice that can save you money you might otherwise have spent defending an FMLA lawsuit: If an employee has accrued enough absences under your attendance policy to warrant termination or is coming close, make sure you haven’t counted any missed work that should have been covered by the FMLA.

Employee must request more leave as ADA accommodation

08/29/2014
Employees facing the end of FMLA or other medical leave are sometimes entitled to additional time off as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. But they have to ask.

Warn supervisors against commenting on FMLA use

08/18/2014
Having employees out on FMLA leave is a hassle. But even worse trouble is certain if bosses make a big deal out of routine FMLA leave re­­quests.

OK to terminate after FMLA as long as you document business-related rationale

08/18/2014

Employers sometimes think it’s too dangerous to fire a worker who has recently returned from FMLA leave. But don’t let fear of a lawsuit keep you from making a reasonable and necessary business decision. Just make sure the employee’s use of FMLA leave didn’t motivate the discharge.

No FMLA? That doesn't mean you're free to fire and replace new mother

08/14/2014
Some employers mistakenly think that if they terminate an em­­ployee who isn’t yet eligible for FMLA leave, the employee can’t sue. While you may not be violating the FMLA, you may violate other laws that protect the worker.

Timing is everything in FMLA retaliation cases

08/06/2014
Here’s a hypothetical situation that shows how important it is to be aware of the calendar when dealing with the FMLA.

Electrical company's strong-arm tactics shocking

07/31/2014
Corpus Christi-based Nueces Elec­­tri­­cal Co-Op has agreed to pay a former employee $46,920 in back pay and damages after it forced him to retire and tap his 401(k) retirement fund instead of granting him FMLA leave.

Employee must address ADA, FMLA thresholds up front

07/31/2014
Here’s a case that may help you get an ADA or FMLA case dismissed quickly when an employee is acting as her own attorney. A worker has to allege up front in her lawsuit that her employer has enough employees to be covered by the FMLA or the ADA.

Employee not ready to return after FMLA leave? She may be eligible for additional unpaid leave

07/31/2014
Do you have a rule that says employees who aren’t ready to return from FMLA leave when their time is up face termination? If so, consider providing at least limited flexibility under one circumstance.

When does 'almost eligible' qualify for FMLA?

07/25/2014

Eligibility for job-protected FMLA leave kicks in for employees after they’ve worked at a covered employer for at least 12 months (and for 1,250 hours). But take note: That doesn’t mean you can fire employees who request FMLA leave just days before they hit their 12-month anniversary date. As this new case shows, employees can use other accrued leave to “bridge the gap” until they reach the 12-month eligibility limit.

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