join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
GET OUR FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS!
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More

Fear of Failure – Terminating Employees with Extensive FMLA and non-FMLA Absences

It’s a scenario that frustrates many employers. An employee with extensive intermittent FMLA absences, possibly including absences for different covered reasons, is also absent for many unspecified or unprotected reasons which lead to progressive discipline. The employee’s absences eventually reach the point of warranting termination and the employee does not provide additional medical information to address the unprotected absences. The employer is prepared to proceed with termination but is concerned about whether it did enough to track protected absences and communicate with the employee to avoid FMLA interference and retaliation claims.

Employers Beware: Intermittent FMLA Absences Not Subject to “Proof of Need”

On January 27, 2017, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that provides a cautionary tale to employers about seeking documentation from an employee on intermittent FMLA leave. In Diamond v. Hospice of Florida Keys, Inc., Case No. 15-15716 (11th Circuit, Jan. 27, 217), the Court held that an employer’s request for “proof of need” related to an employee’s intermittent absence was evidence of interference with the employee’s FMLA rights and thus precluded summary judgment for the employer.

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 until his next appointment.

Do You Have a Gap in Your Benefit Eligibility Procedures? Issues Raised by Non-FMLA Reduced Schedules and Leaves of Absence

Most employers have procedures in place to ensure that an employee who takes leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), whether as a reduced schedule or an extended leave of absence, retains his or her eligibility under the employer-sponsored health plan. But many employers have gaps in their procedures when an employee’s reduced schedule or leave of absence occurs when the employee is not yet eligible for FMLA leave or after FMLA leave has been exhausted. Typically, the gap in procedures exists when the non-FMLA reduced schedule or extended leave arises from a work injury or as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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:

Think Before You Call: Contacting Employees On FMLA Leave

How many employers have had this situation arise? An employee requests and receives FMLA leave. While they are out, the employee’s supervisor needs to locate a document, find out the status of a project the employee was working on, or a crucial question comes up that only the employee on leave can answer.

Trump Administration May Expand Proposal for Paid Maternity Leave to Fathers

During his campaign, President Trump proposed a plan to offer six weeks of paid maternity leave to mothers who give birth. The program would be funded through the unemployment compensation system. The Family and Medical Leave Act provides unpaid job protection, but it does not provide for paid leave. Earlier this week, President Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, who has been a proponent of expanding paid maternity benefits programs, reportedly participated in a roundtable discussion with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding women in the workforce.

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.

Is Federal Paid FMLA Any Closer to Reality?

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) reintroduced the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would create a national system of paid leave for employees. This is the third attempt in the last five years by these same legislators to create federal paid leave. But, with Republicans in control of the Executive and Legislative branches of our government, does the FAMILY Act stand a chance of becoming reality?

What Am I Doing Wrong?? Common FMLA Mistakes. No. 5

“What did I do wrong?” and “Am I doing this correctly?” are frequent questions from clients regarding FMLA administration. This is the fifth in a monthly series highlighting some of the more common mistakes employers can inadvertently make regarding FMLA administration.