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FMLA

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?

Must we grant FMLA leave for employee to provide care to her niece?

07/13/2012

Q. An employee has requested FMLA leave to care for her 5-year-old niece who is recovering from heart surgery. The employee’s sister and her daughter live with the employee. Is leave under these circumstances protected under the FMLA?

Afraid you miscalculated FMLA eligibility? Act immediately to correct your mistake

07/12/2012

The FMLA is difficult to administer, especially now that it has been amended to include additional time off in connection with military service. Plus, new FMLA regulations make more workers eligible for leave if they care for a child. Rest assured that if you promptly fix an innocent mistake when it’s brought to your attention, you won’t be automatically liable for FMLA interference.

Layoffs looming? Help workers find internal opportunities

07/05/2012

You never know which terminated employee will sue or for what. That’s why you should treat every layoff as a potential lawsuit. Defend yourself by doing all you can to help employees who may lose their jobs find other opportunities within the company.

Need to contact employee out on FMLA leave? Be sure to document reason for the call

07/05/2012

Employees on FMLA leave are entitled to be left alone. Super­visors shouldn’t send work home with the employee or call constantly to check up. That could be considered FMLA leave interference. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t get in touch with the em­­ployee about important and urgent matters or enforce your broader call-in policies.

How to handle vague FMLA certification

07/05/2012
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 can deny leave as long as you gave him a chance to correct the deficiencies.