FMLA

The ideal: Those who handle discipline shouldn't have access to FMLA info

02/04/2015
If you have a large enough HR office, it makes good sense to keep the FMLA request-and-approval process separate from the disciplinary process. Doing so ensures that someone with expertise in FMLA administration handles the entire process.

Changing employees' job duties or hours during FMLA leave? Have good reasons

02/04/2015
Employees who take FMLA leave are generally entitled to come back to their old jobs when they return. If you make any changes to their jobs, be sure you can document solid business reasons that are unrelated to FMLA leave.

Can we collect insurance premiums from employee who was out on FMLA leave?

02/02/2015
Q. One of our employees recently returned from FMLA leave. Before he left, the method in which he would pay his share of health insurance premiums was never decided. It’s been two months now and the employee hasn’t mentioned it or attempted to pay us back. What can we do to collect the premium?

Employee won't give up FMLA info? That may be willful misconduct

02/02/2015
Employees fired for willful misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. But what is willful misconduct? The term is broad and can include all kinds of behavior, such as refusing to cooperate with an employer’s rea­­sonable request for information.

Tell bosses: Don't query medical appointments

02/02/2015
Warn supervisors that they shouldn’t comment on the time that employees take off for medical treatments. If the underlying medical condition is a disability under the ADA, such comments may come back later to haunt the employer.

Require employee to call HR during FMLA leave

02/02/2015
There are ways to discourage FMLA leave abuse. One is to make taking leave just a little inconvenient by requiring more than a simple call-in. You can, for example, require the employee to notify both his supervisor and someone in the HR or benefits office. That’s perfectly fine as long as everyone on intermittent leave has to do the same.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

01/30/2015

HR Law 101: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 prohibits discrimination on the basis of "pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions." Employers can't deny a woman a job or a promotion merely because she's pregnant or has had an abortion ...

Can we replace employee who has been on FMLA leave for 14 weeks and isn't due back soon?

01/21/2015
Q. An employee went out on leave for a medical condition after working for us for 10 months. While the employee was not FMLA-eligible when the leave commenced, he was inadvertently advised that his leave was covered by the FMLA. The employee has now been on leave for 14 weeks, and he is not expected to immediately return to work. We would now like to fill his position. Is this permissible?

Think twice before changing employee's job duties or hours during FMLA leave

01/21/2015
Employees who take FMLA leave are generally entitled to come back to their old jobs when they return. If you make any changes to their jobs, be sure you can document solid business reasons that are unrelated to FMLA leave.

OK to fire if employee doesn't call to explain why he missed expected FMLA return date

01/14/2015
Employees are supposed to notify their employers about their need for FMLA leave as soon as is practical. When they are already out on leave with a set return date, the same rule applies if the employee will need more time off. He or she can’t just extend the leave without telling anyone and expect to keep the job.

FMLA may cover some independent contractors

01/14/2015
A federal appeals court has cast doubt on the longstanding belief that independent contractors are never “employees” under the FMLA.

Calling in sick doesn't count as FMLA notice

01/12/2015

Employees are supposed to let  employers know when they may need FMLA leave, although they don’t have to specifically mention the law. However, simply calling in to report being “sick” isn’t good enough. Not every illness is covered and run-of-the-mill sickness isn’t a “serious health condition.”

FMLA: Overview

01/01/2015

HR Law 101: Since 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act has provided eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for the birth, adoption or foster care of a child; caring for a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition; or convalescence after an employee’s own serious health condition ...

How federal law prohibits family caregiver discrimination

12/30/2014
While family caregiver discrimination is not a new protected category (and no federal law expressly prohibits employment discrimination against caregivers), a number of laws provide protection for employees with caregiving responsibilities.

Is employee ready to return to work? Provide a list of essential job functions

12/29/2014
When an employee wants to return from FMLA, you can require a specific fitness-for-duty certification from the doctor. But you also have to provide the employee with a list of the job’s essential functions for the doctor to use to decide fitness for duty. Otherwise, the doctor’s statement that the employee is fit for work may be very general—and then the employer will be obliged to let the worker return.
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