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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
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‘No-call, no show’ termination isn’t adverse employment action

Under Minnesota’s whistle-blower law, employers can’t punish employees for reporting wrongdoing to authorities. Even so, it’s still legitimate for employers to enforce existing workplace rules.

Timing is everything in FMLA retaliation case: Keep careful records when making decisions

Here’s a hypothetical situation that shows how important it is to be aware of the calendar when dealing with the FMLA.

You can enforce call-in rules for employees on FMLA leave

Employers that have call-in procedures for absences can require that employees use them when requesting FMLA leave or updating their status. Simply having a doctor fax in medical excuses isn’t enough.

Remind bosses about risk of personal liability


Quite often, employees’ attorneys make sure supervisors are separately charged and individually liable. Cite this trend during training to instill in your managers and supervisors that they need to follow the professional advice HR provides on discipline, hiring and other issues—or else face the consequences.

DOL announces new definition of ‘spouse’ for FMLA purposes


United States v. Windsor struck down a Defense of Marriage Act provision that interpreted “marriage” and “spouse” to be limited to opposite-sex marriage for the purposes of federal law. Now the Department of Labor has issued rules extending FMLA protections to same-sex married couples.

Comments open on FMLA coverage for same-sex spouses

Want to weigh in on the proposed regulations that would extend FMLA protections to same-sex spouses regardless of where they live? The Department of Labor is now accepting public comments.

FMLA: Need certification or is a doctor’s note OK?

Q. Do employers have to request an official certification form for all FMLA situations, or can a physician’s note be enough for an employer to designate FMLA?

You can insist: Employees waiting on FMLA certification must follow call-in policy

Employees who have a pending request for FMLA leave and are just waiting for their doctor to provide the required medical certification must still follow call-in rules. Have a clear policy in place so employees understand what is expected before, during and after their FMLA leave request.

OK to demand proof of full health after FMLA

Qualified employees who take FMLA leave for their own serious health conditions are entitled to return to their old jobs or equivalent ones once their leave is over. But that’s only true if they are fully healed and able to do their jobs.

FMLA, 401(k)s extended to same-sex spouses

Employers continue to feel the impact of last year’s key U.S. Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, which struck down a federal law that had denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. There have been two new developments.