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FMLA

Prepare for legal trouble when bosses play detective with employees on FMLA leave

04/29/2015
Train all supervisors about the FMLA. Instruct them to refer any perceived problems to HR. Direct supervisors should not, for example, conduct their own “investigations” into whether an employee is abusing intermittent FMLA leave by conducting surveillance or taking other intrusive steps. Doing so may net a lawsuit alleging interference with FMLA rights.

Is early termination OK when employee who is on FMLA submits her resignation?

04/13/2015
Q. An employee who is off on an approved FMLA leave just submitted her resignation, providing two weeks’ notice. Our employee handbook asks employees to provide a two-week notice when possible. May we terminate the employee’s employment immediately rather than wait two weeks?

Routine medical care doesn’t trigger FMLA

04/13/2015
The FMLA is supposed to protect employees from losing their jobs when they can’t work due to a serious health condition. Minor maladies such as colds, headaches and body aches usually aren’t enough to merit protected leave. That’s true even if the employee goes to a doctor and gets a prescription, unless the health care provider also tells the worker to return within 30 days for a follow up or otherwise actively monitors the illness.

Prepare to justify termination by citing business reasons unrelated to FMLA leave

04/13/2015
Employees on FMLA don’t earn protection against legitimate discipline for reasons unrelated to FMLA leave.

Always directly inform worker of his FMLA rights

04/03/2015
You risk a lawsuit if you don’t advise employees of their FMLA rights. Employees are entitled to individual notice so they can make informed decisions about when to return to work.

Court halts new FMLA same-sex marriage rule

04/02/2015
A federal district court in Texas has issued an injunction preventing—at least temporarily—the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing a final rule granting FMLA rights to legally married same-sex spouses.

Discipline for attendance during FMLA leave?

04/01/2015
Q. Before we could counsel an employee about ongoing attendance problems, she was approved for intermittent FMLA to care for her mother. However, she continues to have attendance problems unrelated to her FMLA leave. Can we proceed with counseling and possible disciplinary actions while she is under FMLA?

Manage interplay of all state and federal laws affecting pregnant employee’s leave rights

03/23/2015
California has one of the nation’s most complex set of laws covering employees who need time off for illness, disability, pregnancy and parenting. Federal and state laws combine to create a complicated mess.

What is the protocol on asking for doctors’ notes?

03/23/2015
Q. When an employee calls off sick for more than one day, is there a minimum amount of days off required before an employer can ask for a doctor’s note? Can we ask the specific reason for the absence?

Consider extended leave as accommodation if disabled employee is likely to return to work

03/11/2015
Before rejecting a disabled employee’s request for additional time off as a reasonable accommodation, consider whether the time would allow the employee to return. If not, you probably won’t have to provide the additional leave.