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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
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Investigate suspected FMLA intermittent leave abuse

Dishonest employees often abuse their right to take intermittent FMLA leave. Fortunately, courts grant employers broad leeway to investigate suspicious absences.

FMLA ending? Prepare to offer ‘ADA leave’

Employers are required to reinstate workers who are ready to return from FMLA leave. Often, that’s contingent on a health care professional’s assessment that the employee is well enough to perform his or her job duties. But what if the employee can’t pass a fitness-for-duty exam?

DOL raises penalties for 2022

The Department of Labor has announced the 2022 inflation adjustments to penalties for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the FMLA and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Beware discipline for work not done during FMLA leave

When employees take FMLA leave, sometimes their employers just let the work pile up, to be completed when the employee returns. That can be dangerous if the employee can’t catch up and is punished.

Intermittent leave abuse? Demand new cert

Workers whose doctors approve intermittent FMLA leave can essentially take time off whenever their condition flares up. Employers typically must wait six months to question intermittent leave certifications if the leave is for a condition of indefinite duration. However, if employers suspect intermittent leave abuse, they can demand recertification sooner.

Beware firing during employee’s FMLA leave

Generally, employers are free to punish or terminate workers even while on job-protected leave like FMLA if they discover during that time away that the employee wasn’t doing his job. But there’s a caveat. You must be able to show the court that you would have done the same thing if the employee hadn’t taken leave

When can FMLA be taken for care of sibling?

The FMLA typically allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave to care for the serious illness of a son or daughter. But it’s not just biological or adoptive parents who can qualify.

No need to tell employee why she was fired

When terminating an employee, you don’t necessarily have to explain the exact reason for your decision. However, you must still document your rationale at the time you decide to fire. If the employee sues, a court will want to see when and why you arrived at the decision, all documented at the time.

Firing during FMLA leave? Prove FMLA wasn’t reason

Employees cannot be fired for taking FMLA leave. If you must terminate someone who has taken FMLA leave, be prepared to show it had nothing to do with their leave-taking. Do that by contemporaneously documenting what led to the termination and when you made the decision to fire.

Document ADA requests to prove good faith

The ADA requires a disabled employee and her employer to have an interactive conversation to determine whether it’s possible to accommodate the disability and, if so, how. If the employee doesn’t participate in the interactive process, she won’t be able to sue successfully over a denied accommodation. That’s why it’s essential to document every interaction once you suspect an employee might be disabled.