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Next Time Your Employee Requests FMLA Leave, Choose Sincerity with a Touch of Empathy

When it comes to administering FMLA, I’ll admit — I have grown cynical and hardened. Like a doctor who becomes desensitized to blood and guts, I, too, have become desensitized to an employee’s antics while on FMLA leave....more

DOL Issues Opinion Letter Allowing Employers to Avoid Payment for Excessive 15-Minute FMLA Breaks; Employers Yawn

Last June, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it would again issue opinion letters to assist employers and employees in interpreting laws like the FMLA and Fair Labor Standards Act. It was a welcome change as far as...more

Your Employee Is Absent More Often Than Indicated on his FMLA Medical Certification. Now What?

A week doesn’t go by without a client asking me whether they can discipline an employee for exceeding the number of absences allowed on their FMLA medical certification....more

Next Time You Want to Conduct FMLA Surveillance, Be Sure to Have a Good Reason Why

Porn and the FMLA. This has all the makings of one big, fat men’s soap opera. Johnnie Walker was a longtime police officer with the Pocatello Police Department, and he was tasked with investigating Scott and several other...more

On This 25th Birthday of the FMLA, An Open Letter to Employers, Employees and the DOL

As you might imagine, there may not be a more exciting day for me all year. After all, there is only one day ever in which my favorite federal statute celebrates its silver anniversary! Picture me getting my inner Jimmy...more

FMLA FAQ: When Is an Employer Required to Check for FMLA Eligibility? The Answer May Surprise You!

Every once in awhile, my posts must return to the nuts and bolts of FMLA, and this is one of ‘dem ‘dere posts. After all, I can’t always cover scintillating topics such as Beyonce concerts, bullies who abuse FMLA leave and...more

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

At last! Not One, But TWO Court Decisions That Scale Back an Employee's Right to Take Additional Leave After FMLA is Exhausted

There may not be an issue more difficult in HR land than how to deal with an employee who cannot return to work after FMLA leave expires. Is additional leave beyond 12 weeks required? The answer is almost always ‘yes.’ ...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

If an Employee Attends a Beyonce Concert While on FMLA Leave, Can She Be Terminated?

All the single ladies . . . all the single ladies . . . Now put your hands up, oh, oh, oh . . . Imagine marketing director, Michelle, jamming to this Beyonce song in the middle of AT&T Stadium in Dallas. On that very...more

Hurricane Harvey and the FMLA: Are Your Employees Eligible for Leave During a Natural Disaster?

Natural disasters like Harvey raise a host of issues for employers: how do you pay your employees during during suspended operations? Whether and to what extent should health benefits and other benefits be offered?...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

FMLA FAQ: Can a Chiropractor Certify FMLA Leave? And Are There Limits?

Backs across America must collectively be giving out, as my clients’ questions about medical certification from chiropractors are on the increase. So, I’ll hit this one head on: Is a chiropractor considered a health care...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

Can an Employee take FMLA Leave to Care For a Sibling? Before You Say "No," Read This

I love my brother dearly. I love my sister just as much. And whenever we near the end of life’s journey (a long time from now, of course), I’ll be there to care for them. And they, for me, despite the many piledrivers I...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

Got an Employee Who Doesn't Follow Your FMLA Call-in Policy? Apparently, You Now Have to Ask Him Why He Couldn't

I recently had an interesting call with a DOL investigator, and I wanted to share it with you. First, let me set the background. I represent a large national employer with multi-state locations, including several on...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

Should Employers Make Paid Parental Leave a Basic Employee Benefit? Considerations for Drafting a Parental Leave Policy

Netflix. Google. Proctor & Gamble. Accenture. IKEA. Greensboro, North Carolina. What do these have in common? They are employers. And they offer their employees paid parental leave....more

Does Paid Leave Become Reality in a Trump Administration? And Who is His Likely Choice to Head the Department of Labor?

Every other employment attorney has been offering their opinion on how the election of Donald Trump will impact employment law. So, I’d feel left out of this riveting discussion if I didn’t offer my two cents about how a...more

Can an Employer Require That an Employee Submit FMLA Certification from a Specialist to Support the Need for FMLA Leave?

When it comes to FMLA medical certification, my clients have many complaints. One beef, in particular, is vague medical information they receive on a certification completed by the employee’s primary care physician. This...more

When Employers Don't Recognize an Employee's Notice of the Need for FMLA Leave, They Pay the Price

As employers, we face a sobering reality: at every turn, the FMLA sets us up to fail. Whether it’s deciphering medical certification, assessing fitness for duty upon return to work, or dealing with the always frustrating...more

Can Hillary Clinton Take FMLA Leave for Pneumonia? And Can Her Campaign Give Her the Boot Because She's a Key Employee?

Disclaimer! Disclaimer! This is not a political post. But where current events meet the FMLA, I’m as giddy as a five-year old boy coming eye-to-eye with his first dump truck! Unless you’ve been living under a rock the...more

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