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FMLA mistakes: When will you personally pay?

To be personally liable under the FMLA, a manager must “exercise supervisory authority over the employee” who is seeking FMLA leave, and he or she must “be responsible in whole or in part for the alleged violation.” Anyone with the power to hire or fire likely qualifies.

Worker on FMLA leave? Limited contact OK

Sometimes, pressing business matters require a supervisor or other company representative get in touch with an employee who’s out on FMLA leave. As long as the contact is limited to true business needs and isn’t unduly restrictive or intrusive, the contact won’t cause you to lose an FMLA interference lawsuit.

Unmarried employee couple is expecting: Can both take FMLA leave?

Q. A while ago two of our employees developed a romantic relationship. They are now expecting a baby and both workers put in a request for family leave to bond with their newborn. Are we required to give both workers leave for the birth of their child—even if they are not married?

DOL’s 2014 budget request tips off coming enforcement blitz

The DOL’s FY2014 budget request reveals plans to greatly step up enforcement of the FLSA, the FMLA and workplace safety laws—and a looming crackdown on independent contractor misclassification.

ADA accommodation may not be possible, but explore the options

Under the ADA and the MHRA, disabled workers are entitled to reasonable accommodations. Deciding what’s reasonable requires an interactive process in which both employer and employee discuss options that allow the employee to perform essen­­tial job functions. The employer then can choose which accommodation it prefers.

‘Magic word’ not needed for accommodation


By now, you are probably familiar with the idea your FMLA obligations are triggered when employees provide enough information for you to reasonably understand that they might need FMLA leave. They don’t need to say any “magic words.” It’s the same with requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA.

You could personally pay for FMLA violations

The FMLA provides for individual liability for those who are responsible for approving FMLA leave and ensuring the employer follows the law on leave and reinstatement. That means managers—and HR staff!—can be held personally responsible for FMLA mistakes, potentially costing them the loss of their own personal funds.

Employee tardy due to FMLA caretaking? That’s not legitimate FMLA ‘leave’

It’s difficult to track which out-of-the-office hours qualify for FMLA leave. But what if the employee comes to work, only to spend much of her time on the cellphone dealing with the relative’s serious health condition?

What are the details on new FMLA changes?

Q. Are we required to put up a new FMLA poster? Did the DOL recently make other FMLA changes we need to know about?

On the DOL’s regulatory horizon: WHD rules, ‘right to know’


The most recently released regulatory agenda of the DOL focuses on three major areas: 1. A “plan/prevent/protect” strategy that seeks to achieve compliance with workplace laws each and every day. 2. A departmental commitment to openness and transparency. 3. Reducing employee risk.