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FMLA

Document business reasons for staffing moves

11/15/2017

Document the timing and explanation for all employment actions. It’s hard for employees to win lawsuits over transfers, demotions or discharges when the employer has records showing objective business reasons for the move.

OK to fire if you discover mistakes while employee is out on FMLA leave

11/15/2017

Sometimes, an employee with a blemished disciplinary history may think he will be protected from termination if he takes FMLA leave. But the FMLA right to return isn’t absolute.

Supreme Court passes on FMLA retaliation

11/09/2017

Where an employer is located makes a difference when it comes to defeating an employee’s FMLA retaliation lawsuit. That’s because different federal courts use different standards for what an employee needs to prove to win a retaliation case under the FMLA.

Track all leave taken, even after FMLA ends

11/08/2017

If you generously provide extra leave for employees who run out of FMLA leave, be sure to document it. Should the employee later accuse your organization of FMLA retaliation, the fact that you approved subsequent leave can demonstrate your good faith.

Remind bosses they must never criticize employees for taking FMLA-covered leave

11/08/2017

Employees who find themselves criticized for lower productivity or missed deadlines because they were out may have a legitimate FMLA interference or retaliation claim.

Wrong about FMLA abuse? Your honest belief counts

11/02/2017
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed a victory to employers that struggle with employees who misuse FMLA leave—particularly intermittent FMLA leave. The court held that an employer’s honest belief that its employee misused FMLA leave was sufficient to defeat an FMLA retaliation claim, even if the employer was mistaken.

Never tie FMLA leave to employee’s performance

10/27/2017
When preparing a performance review, remind supervisors that they should never mention FMLA leave or appear to use it as a factor in the evaluation. That can lead to a big jury award later if the review is used to justify termination—even during a reduction in force.

100% healed back-to-work rule could backfire

10/26/2017
Do you have a companywide policy that requires all workers who are out on leave to get a doctor’s certification that they are completely healed before they can return to work? Such a rule may run afoul of the ADA.

Feel free to terminate if you find wrongdoing while employee is out on FMLA leave

10/25/2017
Employees out on FMLA leave don’t enjoy more job protection than employees who don’t take leave. As long as an employer doesn’t terminate because an employee took FMLA leave, it’s perfectly lawful to fire someone during leave.

Beware small changes that could be retaliation

10/18/2017
Punishing a worker for using FMLA leave is illegal retaliation—and the punishment doesn’t have to be something big like termination. Even seemingly minor acts can qualify as retaliation if they would dissuade a reasonable worker from using FMLA leave in the first place.