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FMLA

Understand the legal risks when employees telecommute from another state

01/24/2014
Before approving an employee’s request to telecommute from her home in a different state, consider that you may have to follow a different set of employment laws. If she ends up suing your company, she may do so in the state where she performed her work.

Weigh ADA, FMLA when considering return to work following disability leave

01/22/2014
Under the ADA, disabled em­­ployees may be entitled to disability leave beyond what’s available through the FMLA and other accrued leave like vacation and personal time. However, they may not be entitled to reinstatement to their prior position.

Document your efforts to collect FMLA certification info from employees

01/16/2014

There’s a right way and a wrong way to terminate an employee who doesn’t return after her scheduled FMLA leave. The right way: Offer the employee every opportunity to ask for an extension—and document that you did so. The wrong way: Just fire her when she doesn’t show up on the day she was supposed to return.

Gender Discrimination

01/11/2014

HR Law 101: Your supervisors probably understand that they can’t pay a male more than a female to perform the same job or dole out promotions only to males. What they may not appreciate are the more subtle forms that gender discrimination may take. They may not make an effort to scrutinize their decisions to uncover any entrenched patterns of discrimination and practices that discourage women from applying for promotions or asking for raises …

Grant FMLA leave for pregnancy or any pregnancy-related issues

01/09/2014

Almost anything connected to a pregnancy can become the basis for a valid FMLA leave request, even if the employee is physically well. Take, for example, a doctor’s written notice that the pregnant employee should be placed on light-duty work for her own safety. If no such positions are available, you may have to allow the worker time off as FMLA leave.

Here’s a no-brainer: No charts predicting when female workers will get pregnant

01/08/2014
A New York employer has learned the hard way that it shouldn’t make assumptions about ­mothers in the workplace—and certainly shouldn’t actively try to predict who may become pregnant and miss work.

Houston docs cough up $17K for FMLA violations

01/07/2014
The Houston-based Houston Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic will pay a former employee $17,390 after it failed to reinstate her to an equivalent position following FMLA leave.

Beware offering FMLA instead of workers’ comp

01/07/2014
Some Texas employers try to discourage employees from taking workers’ compensation leave when they suffer an injury. Instead, they encourage employees to use FMLA and accrued vacation and other leave. Always make sure employees volunteer to make that choice.

Periodic depression may not be ADA condition

01/03/2014
Do you have an employee who sometimes becomes depressed and needs FMLA leave on an intermittent basis to deal with flare-ups? If so, he’s not necessarily disabled under the ADA.

OK to discipline disabled worker for rule-breaking

01/03/2014
Don’t worry that you can’t discipline disabled workers—if you can show that you punish all em­­ployees equally for breaking the same rule. An employee’s disability is irrelevant as long as you don’t cut slack for other employees while punishing the disabled worker.