// Chartbeat tag // Chartbeat tag

Ask the legal expert: avoidable pitfalls in the Family and Medical Leave Act

Share this article:
Attorney John Durso, Ungaretti & Harris LLP
Attorney John Durso, Ungaretti & Harris LLP
Where might providers most easily fall afoul of the law concerning Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) requests or actions?

The FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within any 12-month period for the birth or care of the employee's newborn child, the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition, or to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition. Companies can require that FMLA leave run concurrently with the employee's paid time off.  New 2009 FMLA regulations created certain new forms of leave for military families, in addition to changing prior FMLA rules, such as those for intermittent leave.  If you have not already done so, you should review the new regulations in their entirety and adjust all of your FMLA policies accordingly.  

Some employers have become skeptical of requests for intermittent leave because of the potential for employees to abuse it. You cannot discipline or otherwise punish an employee for leave that is taken in accordance with an FMLA-certified medical condition, which in some cases can be taken without notice (if notice was not “reasonably practical”).

But you can discipline employees for taking time off under the guise of FMLA intermittent leave, if the employee has failed to follow your FMLA policies and procedures for intermittent leave. Be sure to keep detailed records of which absences were taken in accordance with FMLA policies and which were not.

Having clear policies, keeping accurate records and maintaining good communication with employees are the keys to ensuring FMLA compliance.
Share this article:

More in News

Also in the news for Oct. 1, 2014 . . .

CMS releases new version of software for collecting assessment information ... CT hospitals must now inform patients of observation status ... CA assisted living facilities face multiple requirements under new laws ... Govt. launches Open Payments website

RACs collected nearly $2 million from skilled nursing facilities last year, report ...

Recovery Audit Contractors recovered $1.8 million in Medicare overpayments made to skilled nursing facilities in fiscal year 2013, according to a Congressional report released Monday.

OK nursing home worker threatened to behead colleague in a terrorist act, ...

Police in Oklahoma City have arrested a nursing home worker who allegedly threatened to behead another staff member out of solidarity with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to news sources.