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FMLA

Don’t count FMLA against attendance record

06/11/2012
Employers that count FMLA-covered absences against employees are interfering with their FMLA rights. Before you make a final termination decision based on poor attendance, make absolutely sure that you have excluded all possible FMLA leave.

It’s your call: Intermittent FMLA leave following birth is up to the employer

06/08/2012

Some new parents don’t want to come back to work full time after giving birth. They may prefer a part-time schedule, using intermittent FMLA leave. But you don’t have to allow intermittent leave following birth unless the infant suffers from a serious health condition.

Unmarried parents: Can they take FMLA together?

06/05/2012
Q. Two of our employees live together but are not married. They want to take FMLA leave at the same time after their child is born. Since they work in the same section, doing similar work, this would be a big problem. If they were married, we could make them share the 12 weeks. Can we force them to do the same even if they aren’t married?

Think employee is committing leave fraud? Feel free to discipline–and document why

06/04/2012
If you suspect an employee is abusing your generous sick and disability leave benefits, consider cracking down on fraud. As long as you can document that you made a good-faith decision to punish leave abuse, a court won’t second-guess your actions.

Intermittent FMLA leave is a pain, but don’t deny it for that reason

06/04/2012

Approving, certifying and tracking intermittent FMLA leave can be a royal pain, especially in industries where attendance is crucial. But employees who are otherwise eligible for intermittent FMLA leave can’t be denied that right simply because it’s inconvenient for employers.

Consider both the ADA and the FMLA when handling employee substance abuse

05/30/2012
The ADA and the FMLA work together to give options to employees with drinking problems, with the goal of helping them get sober and stay that way. If one of your employees needs treatment for alcoholism, consider both laws when approving time off or altering his schedule.

FMLA mentioned? Beware inadvertent retaliation

05/30/2012
After an employee tells you he needs FMLA leave, don’t let that information affect your decision-making about promotions or transfers. That could trigger a lawsuit.

What should we do if we suspect employee is engaged in workers’ comp fraud?

05/24/2012

Q. While on unpaid leave, one of our employees applied for and was granted workers’ compensation. This person has not expressed any interest in returning to work. We think she may even be working somewhere else. Can we terminate her?

How to prevent leave double-dipping: Prohibit vacation travel during paid FMLA leave

05/24/2012

It’s perfectly legitimate to prohibit recreational travel during any approved, paid sick leave. If you also happen to substitute paid sick leave for unpaid FMLA leave, you can still enforce the same no-vacations policy.

Attendance discipline: Keep FMLA out of equation

05/23/2012

Here’s a basic way to avoid FMLA trouble: Before punishing employees for poor attendance, double-check to make sure that none of the time they missed included FMLA-qualifying leave. That way, there’s no question about whether FMLA leave was a factor in discipline.