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FMLA

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.

Warn bosses: No griping about pregnancy-related absences

12/24/2013

Some bosses openly resent it when subordinates announce that they’re pregnant. Warn them to never do or say anything that indicates anger, disappointment or annoyance.

OK to ask worker to cancel M.D. appointment; that isn’t the same as denying FMLA leave

12/23/2013
Taking time off for medical appointments is a legitimate use of FMLA leave if the treatment is related to a serious health condition. But that doesn’t mean that em­­­ployees can schedule those appointments whenever they want.

Weigh ‘reasonableness’ when considering ADA time off after employee has taken FMLA leave

12/23/2013
If you can show that the financial and logistical costs are unreasonably high, you don’t have to extend time off as an ADA reasonable accommodation.

Accommodation failing? Focus on performance

12/13/2013
Employers must reasonably accommodate disabled workers so they can perform the essential functions of their jobs. But what should you do if you have made accommodations and they don’t seem to be working?

Does your employee discipline have to be identical?

12/13/2013

Before your organization disciplines an employee, it’s always important to ask these questions: Have other employees violated the same policy? If so, what action did we take against that other em­­ployee? How similar are those two situations? One court recently said employers shouldn’t search for “identical” situations—“similar” is good enough.