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FMLA

Disruptive employee really deserves firing? Don’t let FMLA keep you from pulling the trigger

08/05/2010

Some employees are difficult, always skating on thin ice. They’re disruptive, don’t listen to directions and pretty much do whatever they want. Even so, employers often hesitate to fire such troublemakers if they’ve recently requested FMLA leave or claimed to be disabled. Don’t be manipulated into keeping those bad apples.

Loose lips lose lawsuits: Screen performance reviews for FMLA comments

08/03/2010
Comments supervisors make on performance evaluations can come back to haunt the company—especially if they concern the FMLA. That’s why HR should carefully review performance evaluations and tell supervisors to zip it when tempted to gripe about FMLA leave.

FMLA now covers care by same-sex parents

07/29/2010
The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a broad interpretation of the definition of a “son or daughter,” clarifying that any employee who assumes the role of caring for a child will receive parental rights under the FMLA, regardless of the biological relationship. The new rule applies regardless of sexual orientation or conventional family ties.

Can we terminate a poor performer who is currently out on FMLA leave?

07/27/2010
Q. Our receptionist has a history of being late for work and taking unexcused absences. She’s out on FMLA leave to care for her sick father. Her temporary replacement is doing an outstanding job and always shows up on time. Can we keep the new receptionist and tell the other one not to return?

Watch calendar if you plan to fire following FMLA leave

07/27/2010
Employers that fire employees right after they return from FMLA leave run a risk that the timing alone will be seen as proof of retaliation. Unless you are absolutely sure you can convince a judge or jury that the termination is justified, it makes sense to wait a month or so.

Unsure about your accommodations obligations? Find out fast–or risk personal liability

07/27/2010
The Pennsylvania Human Rights Act is the commonwealth’s companion to federal employment laws such as the ADA and Title VII. The PHRA goes beyond most federal laws because it authorizes personal liability for those who “aid and abet” an act of discrimination. And as one recent case shows, aiding and abetting can include making a serious mistake about a reasonable accommodation request.

Can individual employees be liable for FMLA violations? 4th Circuit may decide

07/23/2010
Most employment laws don’t make individual employees liable for workplace violations they commit in the course of their employment. But that’s not the case with every violation. According to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, it’s unclear whether the FMLA allows such personal and individual liability—a conundrum that may soon be tested.

School’s out for summer! But the FMLA doesn’t cover day care

07/23/2010

Believe it or not, some employees are under the impression they can use FMLA leave during the summer months to care for their minor children instead of sending them to summer camp or day care. That’s not true unless the child has a serious health condition that prevents participation in camp or day care. Otherwise, parents are expected to make conventional child care arrangements during the summer.

HR lessons learned the hard way: Don’t blindly trust your FMLA software

07/20/2010
As FMLA administration grows more complex, more employers are using software to track it. Most of the time that works fine. But as one employer recently found out, FMLA apps don’t always tell the whole story. Lesson learned: There’s no substitute for doing a hands-on review of employee records.

You don’t have to chase down FMLA certification

07/15/2010
Employers aren’t required to go out of their way to encourage employees to have a doctor certify a serious health condition that qualifies for FMLA leave.