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How Do Employers Calculate FMLA Leave Around the Holidays?

It’s that time of year — my kids are already making changes to the fourth draft of their Christmas wish list, holiday music has been playing on my local radio station for four weeks now, and I’m just about ready to claim the...more

When You Don't Train Your Managers About the FMLA, You're Begging for This Kind of Smackdown

When a manager learns that one of his employees is in the hospital, that’s almost always enough information for the employer to have an inkling that the employee may need FMLA leave. ...more

Poorly Implemented FMLA Policies and Procedures are Killing Employers. Don't Be That Employer.

Poorly implemented FMLA policies and procedures are in the spotlight this week. And just a few vague words and a slip up are costing two employers hundreds of thousands of dollars. ...more

DOL Will Again Issue Opinion Letters on FMLA, FLSA, and Other Sticky Employment Law Scenarios

The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that it will again issue opinion letters to assist employers and employees in interpreting laws like the FMLA and Fair Labor Standards Act. The DOL has even established a new...more

Manager's Thoughtless Comment Resurrects Poor Performer's FMLA Claims

There may not be a more toxic combination in the land of Human Resources: a poorly performing employee and an untrained boss who just can’t keep his mouth shut. ...more

Can We Lawfully Terminate an Employee After He Submits a Vague Doctor's Note Seeking an Extension of Leave? In a Word, Yes.

An employee’s 12 weeks of FMLA leave has exhausted, and over the past several weeks, he’s provided you a series of vague doctor’s notes typically containing nothing more than a one-liner extending his medical leave of absence...more

These Three Key FMLA and ADA Resources Will Help You Conquer the World

If you have any interest in vastly improving your FMLA and ADA mojo, here are three can’t miss resources you need to make part of your professional reading and education each spring: 1. Review the ABA’s Report of 2016...more

Disclosing an Employee's Medical Condition May Result in an Automatic FMLA Violation

This is a story about Scott. He has a medical condition affecting his genito-urinary system. In the words of my two-year old, Maggie, this condition sounds yucky. Like other employees with a genito-urinary disorder,...more

Sweet Justice! Dismissal of Bully's FMLA Claim Proves Employers Can Safely Terminate an Employee on the Heels of FMLA Leave

I hate bullies. Back in 4th grade, Sister Mary Demetria, OSF, told us that “hating” someone was a sin. I’m convinced Sister never met a bully. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. Cause, you see, whenever I...more

Why Should Employers Take Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Seriously? Here Are More Than 500,000 Reasons Why.

Doris worked for the Chipotle restaurant chain. And she was pregnant. After she announced her pregnancy to her supervisor, Doris claimed her boss began monitoring her bathroom breaks (then berated her for taking too long),...more

Does an FMLA Leave Request Double as a Request for a Reasonable Accommodation? Should Employers Care?

There is a hot debate brewing over the tantalizing question, “Does a request for FMLA leave also constitute a request for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA?” The worlds of FMLA and ADA clash! Surely, this...more

Managing Repeated Requests for Leave as an ADA Reasonable Accommodation: Takeaways from My Webinar with EEOC Commissioner Feldblum...

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of conducting a webinar with EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum on the topic of “leave” as an ADA reasonable accommodation in light of the EEOC’s new technical resource issued on this topic in...more

FMLA FAQ: What if the Doctor Refuses to Use the Employer's FMLA Medical Certification Form? And They Want to Charge a Fee for It?

A couple of clients have asked me recently whether a health care provider can use his/her own medical certification form or “doctor’s note” to support the employee’s need for FMLA leave, or can we require the HCP to use the...more

An Employee's "Hope" That She'll Return to Work Isn't Enough to Require Additional Leave under the ADA

One of the most difficult issues an HR professional or in-house employment counsel faces is how to deal with an employee who cannot return to work after FMLA leave expires. Is additional leave beyond 12 weeks required? The...more

How Fowl! Is An Employee's Text and His Girlfriend's Report Enough to Establish Notice of Need for FMLA Leave? Not So Fast...

This one just smells fowl. Delbert (not sure if he goes by Del or Bert, so I’ll just call him Delbert) decided not to show up for work at Tyson Fresh Meats on December 28. Instead, he asked his girlfriend, who also worked...more

Does FMLA Cover In Vitro Fertilization? Does It Matter if Dad's Sperm is to Blame?

Is that all it takes to get you to click on my blog entry — make a reference to “sperm” in the blog title and post a silly photo of this little guy?  That was like taking candy from a baby!...more

Want to Drastically Improve Your FMLA and ADA Expertise? Attend These Can't Miss FMLA/ADA Compliance Conferences

Throughout the year, HR professionals and attorneys ask me for my recommendations on the very best conferences to learn more about the FMLA and ADA. The “best,” of course, is in the eye of the beholder. In my humble...more

Employer's Poorly Drafted FMLA Policy Allows Employee to Advance FMLA Claim (That Should Have Never Seen the Light of Day)

If this story won’t cause you bring your FMLA policy up to snuff, then I’ve lost all hope. FMLA’s Basic Premise - An employee is eligible for FMLA leave if he meets three basic criteria: With this backdrop in...more

Employer Requires Employee to Work During FMLA Leave. Ummmm, Is This a Problem?

Sure, Joan, you can take a leave of absence, but you’re still going to work while you’re out, right? Is this problem?  I guess it depends on whether or not you’re Joan. Let me explain. ...more

Employer Fails to Provide Leave of Absence to Probationary Employee, Pays the Price

Adam was a maintenance technician for EZEFLOW, a company which manufactures pipe fittings.  He also was a marine corps veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon his discharge from the marines, Adam started his...more

FMLA FAQ: How Do I Calculate FMLA Leave Where My Employee's Work Schedule Varies From Week to Week?

Q: Several of my employees’ workweeks vary from week to week.  Some might work 30 hours one week and 40 hours the following week. How do I calculate their intermittent FMLA leave in any given week?...more

The Best of 2014: Sending FMLA Notices by Mail/Email, Requiring Doctor's Notes for Intermittent FMLA Absences Among Most Popular...

It’s the final week of the year, so while everyone else in the world is playing with their latest version of iPhone and other new electronic gadgets, I spend my time analyzing this year’s FMLA blog posts and agonizing over...more

FMLA Leave for Headache Effectively Converts Full-Time Position into Part-Time Position; Employers' Shrieks Heard Across the...

This one is a real headache. Sam oversees a storage area for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and during certain times of the year, his position requires a fairly extensive amount of overtime. For...more

When an Employee Falls Off a Ladder at Work, is His Absence Covered by FMLA? An Employer's Misstep Discussed...

Note to self: When one of my employees: -falls off a ladder at work, is taken to urgent care by the company’s HR Director, asks whether the FMLA would apply to his absence, then, as a result of his doctor’s orders,...more

"I Got Stuck in the Blood Pressure Machine at the Grocery Store and Couldn't Get Out!": How Employers Deal with the Most...

Don’t you hate it when someone glues your windows and doors shut so you cannot make it to work? Hasn’t happened to you? According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, this may very well have happened to one of your co-workers...more

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