FMLA

Postpone discipline while awaiting FMLA certification

02/10/2016
It can take a long time to process an FMLA request, especially if the employee doesn’t promptly respond to demands to provide medical certification of the need for leave.

FMLA case: Your hands could be tied for years

02/04/2016
A federal court has issued an injunction preventing an employer from firing a worker seeking to take FMLA leave until the litigation ends. That could take years.

Feds target no-fault attendance

01/08/2016

No-fault attendance programs were designed to be completely objective, the idea being that all absences and therefore all workers are treated equally. But the FMLA and ADA require employers to know why an employee was absent, so the “hear no evil” approach can't work.

Light duty essentially admits FMLA eligibility

01/06/2016
When an employee returns from FMLA leave and his employer assigns him to light-duty work, that is basically an acknowledgment that the employee has a serious health condition incapacitating enough to interfere with performing an essential job function. The employer can’t later challenge that part of FMLA eligibility.

Investigation reveals bogus use of FMLA leave? You can and should discipline employee

01/04/2016
Some employees seem to think that if they are approved for FMLA leave, their employers have to accept their time off as legitimate. That’s true to a point. But it doesn’t mean employers can’t ferret out leave abuse if they have reason to believe the employee isn’t being honest.

Texas Supreme Court says neutral leave policy OK

01/04/2016
The Texas Supreme Court has vacated a jury verdict in favor of a former employee who had alleged workers’ compensation retaliation, rendering judgment in favor of the employer.

FMLA leave may be ADA accommodation

01/04/2016

Here’s something to remember when an employee claims she has a disability that interferes with her ability to work overtime or even a full day. You can offer intermittent FMLA leave as a reasonable accommodation rather than restructuring the job or transferring the employee to another open position. Remember, the employer, not the employee, gets to pick the ADA accommodation.

No harm in being more generous than FMLA

12/29/2015
Employers are supposed to let employees who need FMLA leave know about their eligibility and what’s involved in taking leave. But what if you offer a leave plan that goes above and beyond what the FMLA requires? Courts won’t hold that against you—even if you flub the FMLA’s notice requirements.

Show why schedule changed after FMLA leave

12/09/2015
If you have to make a schedule change after someone returns from FMLA leave, be sure you have legitimate business reasons.

OK to require call-off, even with FMLA

12/01/2015
Employers are free to set neutral call-off policies that punish even FMLA-protected absences. Just make sure you enforce your rules fairly and consistently. Don’t punish some employees but not others.

FMLA leave for sibling care? It's possible

12/01/2015
A DOL ruling last year that clarified the definition of “son or daughter” under the FMLA opens up the potential for employees to take leave to care for siblings or other family and nonfamily members. If the employee is serving in the parental role for a sick child, he or she may be eligible.

Make sure medical leave requests funnel through HR

11/24/2015
Don’t let supervisors handle employee requests for medical leave informally—make sure all requests come through HR. If bosses are allowed to make their own rules, inconsistencies will trip you up in court.

How do we calculate FMLA eligibility on rehire?

11/13/2015
Q. We have an employee who was employed with our company from May, 2010 until April, 2011. The employee was rehired in 2015 and worked approximately nine months. Has the employee satisfied the requirement of 12 months of employment despite the three-year gap in employment under the FMLA?

Vindictive managers can spark FMLA liability

11/09/2015
While it isn’t convenient for managers when an employee takes FMLA leave, that leave is an entitlement. Punishing the employee—in small or big ways—when she returns can backfire big time.

Orthodox synagogue sued for firing pregnant employee

11/06/2015
Just before she went on her honeymoon, a program director at Manhattan’s Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in the country, confided to a co-worker that she was 19 weeks pregnant. The synagogue fired here upon her return.
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