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Under 50 employees? How FMLA could apply to you regardless


Under the FMLA, employers with 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the company’s work site are required to provide FMLA leave to their employees. But even if you’re a small employer, innocent mistakes could make the “50/75 rule” meaningless to you — and force you to provide FMLA leave. Learn how to avoid that trap.

Don’t factor in FMLA when making RIF list


Many employers are discovering they have to cut staff to survive. It’s tempting to eliminate those positions where the least work is being done. After all, the employees doing the least work should be the least missed. But before you decide to RIF someone, remember that you cannot consider FMLA leave in the calculation.

Solid discharge reason trumps retaliation claim


When an employee is discharged shortly after returning from FMLA leave, she may charge retaliation. The timing alone may be enough to send the case to trial. If an employer has a solid reason for the firing, however, it can win.

FMLA trap to avoid: Dodging the coverage-by-estoppel bullet


Employers have to meet thresholds before they’re required to comply with most statutes. For example, the FMLA applies only to organizations that employ 50 or more employees within 75 miles. But smaller employers can effectively render themselves covered by the FMLA if they make certain representations about FMLA coverage to their employees. If they say the FMLA applies, then it does. That’s commonly referred to as coverage-by-estoppel.

Does the FMLA cover intermittent leave for in vitro fertilization?


Q. One of my employees has informed me that she is about to begin undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. She requested some intermittent time off from work. Am I required to grant her request?

Can FMLA absences count against an employee’s attendance bonus?


Q. We provide a perfect-attendance bonus to any employee who is not absent or tardy during the calendar year. If an employee’s only missed time is for a medical leave of absence, does the FMLA require us to nevertheless provide the perfect-attendance bonus?

Dust off your benefits policies: More mandates may be on the way


The federal government has slowly been introducing laws that force employers across the country to provide employee benefits: for example, the FMLA, USERRA and the ADA. Now Congress is considering several legislative initiatives that would require employers to provide additional benefits.

How to legally manage pregnancy and maternity leaves


When an employee announces she’s pregnant, it’s important for HR and supervisors to know what they must do—and what they can’t do (or say) under federal anti-discrimination and leave laws. Most employers must comply with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the FMLA. The ADA may apply if pregnancy complications arise.

Punish employee if you uncover poor work during FMLA leave


Some employees think that taking FMLA leave gives them complete protection from disciplinary action. That just isn’t so. For example, when an employee takes FMLA leave, her work may have to be redistributed. If, during that process, you discover that the employee had been doing a poor job, you can take disciplinary action against her.

Be sure to document if worker says she doesn’t need leave


If an employee rebuffs your offers to consider her for ADA accommodations or FMLA leave, make sure you document her desires. That way, she can’t come back later and claim you didn’t accommodate her or give her leave.