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FMLA

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.

Remind bosses: Handle FMLA requests stoically, even if they’ll cause scheduling problems

08/20/2010
An employee’s request to take FMLA leave can be frustrating for supervisors who have to manage schedules and projects. But if they voice those concerns in a way that seems angry or annoyed, they may be creating the perfect storm for an FMLA interference lawsuit. Remind them to accept FMLA requests professionally, without emotion.

Does the FMLA apply when an employee has to care for a child she isn’t related to?

08/18/2010
Q. We have an employee who cares for a child but does not have a legal or biological relationship to the child. The employee wants to take a child-related leave under the FMLA. Is she eligible?

Require strict compliance with FMLA certification rules

08/18/2010
Want to stop FMLA abuse? Then get strict about enforcing your certification requirements. There’s no reason employees should be allowed to simply say they need FMLA leave. Instead, make them turn in certifications within tight deadlines.

Don’t automatically approve FMLA leave for elective or cosmetic surgery

08/18/2010

Elective surgery that isn’t medically necessary may not be eligible for FMLA leave because the employee having the procedure may not be suffering from a serious health condition. Challenge such leave requests by asking for the second and third certifications that the FMLA allows.

Uncomplicated flu may not be covered by FMLA

08/18/2010
During last year’s swine flu pandemic, lots of employers came up with contingency plans in case employees got sick. Most swine flu cases, thankfully, ended up being quite mild. And as a practical matter, that probably meant that most employees who had swine flu would not have been eligible for FMLA leave because they weren’t incapacitated or unable to perform the essential functions of their jobs for three days.

What are our FMLA obligations when an employee has to care for a child he isn’t related to?

08/12/2010
Q. An employee has requested FMLA-protected leave to care for his partner’s son. We are aware that the child is not legally or biologically related to our employee. Do we have to grant the leave?

Employee being disciplined suddenly gets ‘sick’? Don’t fall for ruse invoking FMLA protection

08/06/2010
This will probably happen to you someday (if it hasn’t already): An employee in the middle of being disciplined suddenly says he’s ill and has to leave work. Then, after being terminated, he claims you interfered with his right to take FMLA leave. Don’t fall for it.

When tracking FMLA abuse, use surveillance cautiously

08/05/2010
Before you decide to videotape someone whom you suspect may be abusing FMLA leave, make sure you have a good-faith reason to do so. And be prepared to show that surveillance is a common practice for similar suspicions.