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Enhanced FMLA Fitness-for-Duty Certification Provides Comfort to Employers

An employee’s return to work following an extended FMLA leave for a serious health condition of the employee often creates concerns on the part of the employer. In these situations, employers frequently question whether the employee is really able to perform the essential functions of the job and whether returning the employee to work may expose him/her to risk of further injury (and potentially expose the employer to legal risk). However, these concerns can often be relaxed through use of the “enhanced” fitness-for-duty certification procedures set forth in Section 312 of the Department of Labor’s FMLA Regulations, 29 C.F.R. § 825.312.

Paid Family Leave Programs Get Competitive

When Deloitte, the national auditing, tax and consulting firm, recently announced its new paid family leave policy, HR professionals took notice.

What Am I Doing Wrong?? Common FMLA Mistakes

“What did I do wrong?” and “Am I doing this correctly?” are frequent questions from clients regarding FMLA administration. Over the upcoming months, we are going to highlight some of the more common mistakes employers can inadvertently make regarding FMLA administration.

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.

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. This is meant to be good, clean fun. 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!

Drafting Enforceable Separation Agreements and Releases Under the FMLA

Can you ask employees to waive FMLA rights? Depending on whether those rights are “prospective” or not, the answer might be “Yes,” at least in Eleventh Circuit. The Eleventh Circuit recently issued a decision interpreting, for the first time, the meaning of the term “prospective” as applied to the Family and Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA’s) prohibition of the waiver of prospective FMLA rights. In the past, when clients would ask about having an employee waive their FMLA rights in a separation agreement or settlement agreements, we would tell them, “Yes…but…you would arguably have to have it approved by the Department of Labor (DOL) or a court” for the release to be truly valid and not subject to being voided.

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

Such is the story of Tim, a manager for Tyson Foods. Over the course of several years, Tim had all the makings of a bully: in 2010, he was disciplined for intimidating a subordinate; in 2011, he was disciplined for openly harassing another employee; in 2012, he again was admonished for threatening an employee with termination for their (legitimate) use of overtime.

When Patient Care Needs and Employee FMLA Demands Conflict

A healthcare employer’s primary mission is to provide appropriate medical care and treatment to patients. In order to provide such care, healthcare companies rely on the steady and committed presence of competent, licensed professionals who are ready, willing, and able to perform the tasks necessary to make sure patients’ needs are met.

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), required her to “announce” her bathroom breaks to others, prohibited her from taking shift breaks, denied access to water, and eventually terminated her employment in front of other employees because she attended a prenatal doctor’s appointment.

Controversial Judicial Estoppel Ruling Overturned – But the Risk Remains

A former employee who the Alabama Department of Labor had ruled in an unemployment hearing was fired lawfully for misconduct was not precluded, or estopped, from later claiming she was fired unlawfully in retaliation for taking Family and Medical Leave Act leave, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has held. Simmons v. Indian Rivers Mental Health Ctr., No. 15-11658, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10663 (June 13, 2016) (unpublished).