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

FMLA

Make sure you ask for FMLA certification each time employee says she needs leave

10/08/2010

If an employer wants to challenge a request for FMLA leave, it must give the employee 15 days to get a medical certification showing she has a serious health condition. Until the employer makes the request, the 15-day period doesn’t start running. Disciplining or firing the employee before the time is up will most likely be considered an FMLA violation if it turns out the employee really did have a serious health condition.

FMLA: What to do when worker refuses OT

10/08/2010
Some employees don’t like being told they have to put in OT, especially if they have medical conditions that make it difficult to work extended hours. However, you are within your rights to insist on overtime. Employees with a serious health condition that precludes working extra hours may have to go on intermittent FMLA leave.

Can FMLA be taken to care for parent overseas?

10/07/2010
Q. One of our employees has a sick parent who lives in another country. She wants FMLA leave to care for the parent. Is FMLA available under the circumstances? And how would I verify the authenticity of a foreign medical certification?

Unpaid overtime meets the FMLA: The two-headed monster waiting to trip you up

10/05/2010

Many part-time employees don’t qualify for FMLA leave because they haven’t worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave. But now some hourly employees and their attorneys are trying a new approach, claiming employers failed to count so-called off-the-clock work toward FMLA eligibility. It’s a wake up call: You must track every hour your employee works.

After a brief FMLA leave, can we request a second opinion to make sure the worker is ready to return?

10/04/2010
Q. We have an employee returning from FMLA leave. His physician has issued a fitness-for-duty certificate. However, we have doubts about the worker’s ability to perform his job because he wasn’t off work very long … Can we send him to another physician for a second fitness-for-duty examination?

Beware discipline after return from FMLA leave

10/04/2010

Employees are protected against retaliation for taking FMLA leave. Disciplining an employee who has just returned from such leave is risky, especially if you can’t point to anything truly objective as the reason. Attributing a “poor attitude” to returning employees is a bad idea unless you can provide specific examples of actual work deficiencies.

Courts look at unpaid, off-the-clock work when tallying 1,250-hour FMLA threshold

10/04/2010

Many part-time employees don’t qualify for FMLA leave because they haven’t worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave. But now some hourly employees and their attorneys are trying a new approach: They’re claiming that employers failed to count so-called off-the-clock work toward FMLA eligibility.

Taking FMLA leave may rule out performance bonus

10/01/2010
Under the right circumstances, employers that pay discretionary bonuses based on actual performance don’t have to make the extra payments to employees on FMLA leave. Thus, a discretionary bonus based on performance during each quarter may not have to be paid if the employee didn’t work.

Remind bosses: React to all FMLA requests in a calm and stoic manner

10/01/2010

An employee’s request to take FMLA leave can be frustrating for supervisors who have to manage schedules and projects. But if bosses voice those concerns in a way that seems angry or annoyed, they may be creating the perfect storm for an FMLA interference lawsuit.

If you have doubts about FMLA eligibility, don’t hesitate to seek a second medical opinion

09/24/2010

Back in August, we told you how a federal court had dismissed a case involving a woman who had taken her child out of day care for the summer and asked for FMLA leave so she could care for him until school started. (See “School’s out for summer! But the FMLA doesn’t cover day care”.) Now the same court has reinstated the lawsuit after taking another look at the facts.