• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR Weekly


Document efforts to get FMLA certification

There’s a right way and a wrong way to terminate an employee who isn’t returning from FMLA leave. The right way: Offer 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.

FMLA: Military Family Leave


HR Law 101: The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 granted new leave rights to family members of men and women who serve in the military. Because the NDAA amended the FMLA, the changes apply only to employers with 50 or more employees.

Employee prone to ­mistakes? That doesn’t mean she’s disabled

Some employees can’t seem to get it together and do their jobs properly. While an underlying medical or psychological problem may be the cause, don’t assume that’s the case if the employee hasn’t asked for help or a reasonable accommodation.

On eve of flu season, know what FMLA covers

Every year, flu season brings confusion and questions over whether the flu or a common cold can rise to the level of “serious health condition” that qualifies for FMLA leave. The regulations state, “Unless complications arise, the common cold [and] flu … do not meet the definition of a serious health condition and do not qualify for FMLA leave.”

Grant FMLA leave for pregnancy-related issues

Almost anything connected to a pregnancy can become the basis for a valid FMLA leave request, even if the employee is 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.

Does a text message from employee qualify as a request for FMLA leave?


Employees don’t have to specifically request “FMLA leave” to put your organization on notice that they need job-protected leave. They don’t even have to mention the law at all. But they must provide enough details about the reason for the requested leave. Then it’s up to you to determine whether the reason qualifies as a “serious condition” under the FMLA.

Where should we display labor law posters?

Q. I recently heard that some of our posters have to be displayed where applicants can see them, not just our employees. Is that true?

Hershey Med responds to retaliation charges

The Penn State Hershey Medical Center has denied any wrongdoing in the case of a cancer doctor who sued, alleging he was fired in retaliation for defending the rights of his secretary, who was fighting breast cancer.

FMLA leave: Intermittent or all at once? Document what employee requested

Employees who are eligible for FMLA leave may not need a big block of time off, but instead want to take intermittent leave. Unfortunately, which one they do take isn’t up to the employer.

Not a question to sneeze at: Is influenza covered by the FMLA?

Back when Congress was debating the initial passage of the FMLA, there was considerable discussion about what kinds of illnesses would entitle an employee to FMLA protection. If in doubt, ask for a medical certification. Decide whether to approve or deny FMLA leave based on what the certification says.