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FMLA

Cut slack on notification requirement when emergency clearly signals FMLA need

09/08/2010
When it comes to FMLA leave, many employers have internal procedures that are somewhat stricter than those specified in the FMLA. That doesn’t mean, however, that employers shouldn’t be flexible under emergency circumstances. Holding an employee to an impossible requirement won’t fly with courts.

What are the rules? I’m afraid we wrongly denied an employee’s FMLA leave request

09/03/2010
Q. An employee worked for us for years, took four years off to have a child and was rehired nine months ago. She asked for time off because her child needed surgery. We refused because we thought she was not FMLA-eligible. After we terminated her for an unauthorized leave of absence, we received a nasty letter from her attorney threatening to sue us for violating her rights under the FMLA. Who’s right?

How should we get medical information for certifying the need for FMLA leave?

09/03/2010
Q. Is there any help you can provide on how we should obtain medical information from employees taking FMLA leave?

Close scrutiny after FMLA leave can spell trouble

09/03/2010

Be careful how supervisors treat employees returning from FMLA leave. Otherwise you could face an interference or retaliation lawsuit. Bosses must treat a returning employee the same way she was treated before she went out on leave. Any sudden, increased scrutiny spells trouble.

For hourly employees, unauthorized extra time counts toward FMLA eligibility

09/01/2010

Employees have to work at least 1,250 hours in a year to qualify for FMLA leave. They also must have been employed for a total of one year. Thus, while many part-time employees may qualify for FMLA leave, others won’t because they haven’t met those thresholds. But now some hourly employees and their attorneys are trying a new approach.

DOL to study FMLA usage

09/01/2010
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced it plans to study how employees use leave under the FMLA, a move that may signal that more regulatory changes are on the way.

After FMLA leave, you can require workers to provide back-to-work fitness certification

08/31/2010
Many employers have a standard policy that requires employees returning from sick leave to prove that they’re fit for work. If you have such a policy—and you apply it consistently—you can also require employees who use FMLA leave to provide the same certifications.

Pick an FMLA leave calculation method, stick with it–and inform employees

08/27/2010

The FMLA provides 12 weeks of leave per year, but employers have flexibility for determining when those 12 weeks start and end. Choose one of four possible calculations and let employees know which one you’re using. Otherwise, courts will use the one that gives employees the best deal.

Princeton Healthcare System hit with ADA suit

08/26/2010
The EEOC has filed suit against Princeton Healthcare System, claiming its leave policies violated the ADA. According to the EEOC complaint, Princeton Healthcare fires employees who aren’t eligible for leave under the FMLA if they cannot return to work in seven days.

FMLA eligibility: DOL expands definition of ‘son and daughter’

08/25/2010
The U.S. Department of Labor recently clarified the definition of “son and daughter” under the FMLA, effectively requiring employers to include same-sex partners, grandparents and other nontraditional family caregivers within the universe of employees eligible for FMLA leave.