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


Employee requests new intermittent leave plan? You can request new certification

Employees with serious medical conditions that require occasional time off are entitled to intermittent FMLA leave. If you grant leave and the employee makes a new request that wasn’t specified in the original medical certification, you can insist on a new certification.

Do your employees understand your FMLA calendar?

FMLA regulations give employers four options for calculating how much leave employees are entitled to at any given time. But if you don’t select a method and let employees know, the DOL says you must use the one most beneficial to the employee. Do everyone a favor: Get familiar with all four methods.

Do we have FMLA reinstatement obligations if employee asks for leave and then quits?


Q. One of our managers resigned a month ago, but she applied for FMLA leave a day before she quit. Are we under any obligation to return her to a position from which she resigned? Are we obligated to offer her a job when FMLA expires?

Court: FMLA may cover not-yet-eligible employees

A federal court has rejected Hersha Hospitality Management’s request to toss out an FMLA interference lawsuit filed by an employee who had only worked for the Harrisburg company for 10 months when she was fired.

Already know employee’s diagnosis? Worker must still give details to earn FMLA

If all an employee does is tell you about the diagnosis of her medical condition, that’s not enough to trigger her FMLA rights. For example, the employee can’t just state that she’s been diagnosed with depression and then, the next time she misses work, expect the time off to be automatically considered FMLA leave.

Adjust deadlines, help reassign projects before employee goes out on FMLA leave

Employees who take FMLA leave can’t be disciplined for work that goes undone while they are out. To avoid confusion, always adjust schedules or find backup to meet inflexible deadlines while the employee who is usually responsible for the work is away.

Can ‘casual chat’ with employee put you on FMLA notice?

Say you’re sitting with employees at lunch and one of them casually mentions that her parents are aging and in poor health. Does that informal chatter officially put your company on notice that the employee’s leave to visit her sick parents is protected under the FMLA?

If doctor’s note is unclear, insist on a properly completed FMLA certification form

Some employees and their treating doctors seem to believe that as long as a medical professional says an employee can’t work, that’s enough to justify FMLA leave. That’s not true.

Tell supervisors: Never discourage employees from taking FMLA leave

When employees take FMLA leave, it can cause major headaches for their supervisors. But displays of frustration—and subsequent discipline or comments at work—may be interpreted by employees as retaliation for requesting the FMLA leave.

FMLA: Second medical opinion is your option


The FMLA allows employers that don’t want to accept an employee’s medical certification to ask for (and pay for) a second opinion. If the two opinions contradict one another, the employer may pay for a third, tie-breaking assessment. But that can be expensive. If you prefer to simply deny the employee’s leave request, that’s fine.