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FMLA

Clarify internal rules for handling FMLA requests

07/31/2012
Make sure that whoever in your organization handles FMLA and other leave knows to contact HR as soon as a leave request comes in. Then make sure you send out the appropriate FMLA paperwork along with any other required documents.

OK to lay off worker who took FMLA leave as long as that’s not a factor in the decision

07/31/2012
Once an employee has used up FMLA and other leave, requiring employees to show up and get their work done is a reasonable expectation. In the following case, the court reasoned that the employer could consider attendance when deciding personnel cuts, as long as it didn’t use FMLA leave as a factor.

When woman returns from maternity leave, must she return to her exact former job?

07/27/2012
Q. When an employee returns from maternity leave, do we have to give her the very same job she had or can she be put to work in a different type of position?

Separate who approves FMLA, who disciplines

07/27/2012
Make sure someone other than the supervisor who ordinarily disciplines an employee is responsible for approving and administering FMLA leave. By separating those functions, you minimize the risk that an employee might be able to connect FMLA leave with an adverse action such as termination.

Get tough on vague, incomplete FMLA forms

07/26/2012

Here’s good news for employers trying to manage FMLA leave and prevent abuse: If an employee’s FMLA certification form is incomplete or vague, you don’t have to accept it … you can deny FMLA leave to that person. Just make sure you give the employee at least seven calendar days to correct deficiencies on the form.

Use 4 strategies to certify and control intermittent leave

07/24/2012
Managing FMLA intermittent leave can be vexing, but employers do have some tools to combat leave abuse. One of the most important is FMLA certification. Here are four tips on certifying FMLA intermittent leave requests:

Employee fudges appointments, claiming FMLA? Count that as an unexcused absence

07/18/2012
Some employees abuse their rights under the FMLA and try to take time off to which they aren’t entitled. Take, for example, an employee who takes an unscheduled trip to his doctor’s office and claims that time as FMLA leave. It isn’t.

Fire away if worker abuses intermittent leave

07/18/2012
If you suspect intermittent FMLA leave abuse, take action. You can check up on the employee or ask her what she is doing on the days she designates as intermittent leave. If she’s not using the time as required, you can discipline her.

What type of ‘family care’ qualifies for FMLA leave?

07/17/2012
Do you get nervous and sweaty when an employee asks for leave to help care for a sick family member? You know this could count as FMLA leave. But what kind of “needed care” is really needed to be eligible for FMLA leave? A new court ruling further helped define the boundaries …

Must we give FMLA leave to caretaker uncle?

07/16/2012
Q. One of our employees has apparently taken in his sis­­ter’s young child because his sister is undergoing cancer treatment. He wants to take FMLA leave to help the child adjust. Must we provide the leave?