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Employee out for one day probably ineligible for FMLA

It’s OK to fire someone whose medical problems clearly don’t qualify as a serious health condition under the FMLA.

ADA: Employee with insomnia isn’t necessarily disabled

Pushed to do more with less, many employers are asking employees to work longer hours. That can cause workers to lose sleep and may even result in diagnoses of insomnia. But not everyone who is sleep deprived and takes medication to sleep is disabled and entitled to reasonable accommodations, such as a shorter workday.

FMLA leave inconvenient? Too bad! That’s no excuse for termination

It can be frustrating to deal with an employee who has constant attendance problems. But if that employee has a serious health condition entitling him to FMLA leave, there’s really nothing you can do, no matter how inconvenient and disruptive his absences are.

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.