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FMLA

How to handle partial-day absences under FMLA

05/10/2012
Sometimes, an employee needs just a few hours of FMLA leave, for example, to make a doctor’s appointment or to drive a relative to treatment. The employee may find it more convenient to take the entire day off, but you don’t have to allow it. Should the employee not return after the appointment, you are free to treat the absence as unauthorized.

Document business reasons for job decisions

05/09/2012

Courts seldom second-guess employers for making tough economic decisions, as long as it’s obvious those decisions were made honestly and not as a cover for discrimination. Make that clear by documenting the decisions at the time you make them.

Know employee’s diagnosis? Don’t assume FMLA

05/09/2012
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.

Employee returning from FMLA leave? OK to assign her to different, equivalent job

05/04/2012

Some employees mistakenly believe that when they take FMLA leave, they are guaranteed an unchanged job when they return. That’s not true. What the FMLA promises is that employees who take protected leave will be returned to the same or an equivalent job.

Do you give different leave to working moms and dads?

05/04/2012
Do you sometimes grant employees “­special leave” to take care of their school-age kids? Beware if you allow special leave for mothers in your workplace, but not for fathers. One court just warned, “A company’s ‘special leave’ not grounded in law just may be discriminatory.”

Warn supervisors: You may be individually liable under the FMLA

05/03/2012
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that supervisors may be subject to individual liability under the FMLA. Employers in New York should be aware that plaintiffs who allege a violation of their FMLA rights may name individual supervisors as defendants in their lawsuits.

Once intermittent FMLA leave expires, reset eligibility clock and demand recertification

05/03/2012
Employees who want to take additional intermittent leave under the FMLA must comply when their employer asks for recertification.

Employee returning from FMLA leave? It’s OK to ask about his ability to do the job

05/01/2012
After employees take medically re­­lated FMLA leave, they sometimes aren’t able to physically perform their jobs. Employers can certainly raise the issue with the employee and can even terminate the employee if he or she can’t perform the job. Just make sure you keep the ADA limitations in mind.

Does the FMLA apply to employees who have domestic partners?

04/30/2012

Q. Several of our employees live with domestic partners. Are our employees entitled to FMLA leave to care for a partner?

Can FMLA leave cover routine tardiness?

04/24/2012
Q. Some of our employees routinely ask to use FMLA when they are five or 10 minutes late. It’s a scheduling nightmare and hurts morale. Does the FMLA cover employees who are consistently tardy?