Category Archives: Notice

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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 the east coast. One of these east coast locations employed Johnny [name changed to protect the guilty], a serial … Continue Reading

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 intermittent leave, the FMLA is full of booby traps ready to nail us the instant we slip up. Chief among these … Continue Reading

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 question ranks up there with life’s unanswered questions.  You know, questions like: When does it stop being partly cloudy and … Continue Reading

After He Allegedly Showed Up Drunk to Practice, Should Former USC Football Coach Steve Sarkisian Have Been Placed on FMLA Leave instead of Being Terminated?

A question was posed to me on Twitter this past week: Shouldn’t former University of Southern California (USC) football coach Steve Sarkisian have been placed on FMLA leave to get treatment for apparent alcoholism instead of getting sacked by USC? [Pun intended, of course.] For those of you not familiar with Mr. Sarkisian, according to multiple … Continue Reading

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 for Tyson, to report his absence for him. She obliged and told Delbert’s … Continue Reading

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

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 how I can deliver the FMLA to your virtual door in an even more efficient … Continue Reading

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

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 years, Sam has suffered from “cluster headaches,” which are far worse than migraines and can last for days.  Sam’s physician … Continue Reading

Managing FMLA Red Flags and Staying Ahead of the Trends: A Recap of our Webinar

Thanks to those who attended my webinar last week with Ellen McCann on “Managing Red Flags and Staying Ahead of the Trends.”  If you missed the program, you can access the webinar and materials here. In a mere hour, Ellen and I covered a number of hot FMLA topics and trends, such as: Conducting an … Continue Reading

Court Determines that Employer's FMLA Notice Sent by Email is Not Reliable (Sending Employer World into Tizzy)

We have a mini-FMLA crisis on our hands this week, and the courts are to blame.  This issue involves the FMLA notices that employers send to employees, but more importantly, the delivery route in which they send them. You may recall that, a couple months back, I analyzed a decision by a federal appellate court which … Continue Reading

A Game-Changing Decision? Sending FMLA Notices to Employees by U.S. Mail May Not Cut It Anymore

With all the FMLA paperwork that a leave administrator has to provide an employee during the FMLA process, you’d wonder whether you’re attending a real estate closing. All these documents — whether it’s the Notice of Eligibility, medical certification, or the Designation Notice — typically get sent by good old fashioned snail mail, delivered by … Continue Reading

What Pink Floyd Can Teach Employers about FMLA: Enforce Call-In Procedures and Insist Upon Facts Supporting Need for Leave

Hello…hello…hello…is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home?   Have your employees have become so evasive in their requests for medical leave that you feel like signing Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” to get them to talk? Have no fear — you don’t have to become that numb … Continue Reading

The Importance of Providing Individual FMLA Notices to Employees

The Department of Labor was serious when it required employers beginning in 2009 to provide individual FMLA notices to employees regarding their eligibility and rights (Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities) and whether FMLA applies (Designation Notice).  Apparently, courts think this is important, too.  And The Wackenhut Corporation learned this lesson the hard way. The Facts Jacqueline … Continue Reading

Employee's Failure to Return Supervisor's Phone Calls Dooms FMLA Claim

When an employee’s request for medical leave is vague or is unclear, the Family and Medical Leave Act regulations specifically allow (in fact, they require) the employer to question the employee further to determine whether the absence potentially qualifies under the FMLA.  When the employee fails to respond to these reasonable inquiries, the employee may lose … Continue Reading

Failure to Follow Employer's Leave Procedures Dooms FMLA Claim

Employers frustrated with their employees’ lack of communication during FMLA leave have found a friend in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  In what must be described as a solid win for employers, the appellate court (which covers IL, IN and WI) affirmed the dismissal of a former employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act claim … Continue Reading

FMLA Poster In Other Languages?

In a recent post we reviewed the rules relating to posting and publishing the DOL’s “General Notice” poster. Among other things, the FMLA rules require employers who have a significant number of employees who do not read English to publish the notice in a language in which the employees are literate. The DOL has a … Continue Reading
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