FMLA

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.

Is an employee entitled to take FMLA leave to care for her hospitalized adult child?

09/26/2014
Q. Would FMLA leave apply to an employee who requests leave time to care for her daughter who is over age 21 and married? The daughter’s illness required hospitalization, but her husband is overseas on active duty with the military.

Inpatient treatment for alcoholism enough to prove disability to court

09/26/2014
Workers alleging disability discrimination generally have to show that they have a condition that substantially limits a major life function. But they don’t necessarily have to drag a doctor into court. They can prove a condition such as alcoholism by showing that they underwent inpatient treatment and suffered withdrawal symptoms while there.

Want to gauge readiness to return to work? Provide list of essential job functions

09/26/2014

Employees who take protected FMLA leave are only entitled to return to their jobs after leave if they are cleared to perform that job. Employers that want a specific fitness-for-duty certification must ask for more than just the certification. They also have to provide the employee with a list of the job’s essential functions for the doctor to use when assessing fitness for duty.

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