Tag Archives: Certification

Is Your Employee Paying a Deception Service to Provide You a Fake Doctor's Note or FMLA Certification?

Have you ever suspected that your employee has given you an excuse too rehearsed or provided a doctor’s note a bit too slick in support of their leave of absence? Don’t be fooled: they actually might be paying for the excuse. Just when we thought we’d seen it all. According to a report from the … Continue Reading

Employee Fired for Absences Exceeding his Certification Can Raise a Viable FMLA Claim

Have you ever made a rash decision that you wish you could take back the second you made it? One employer must feel that way right about now. Last week, a federal court refused to dismiss FMLA claims made against the employer by an employee who was terminated for exceeding the number of “episodes” of … Continue Reading

When an Employer Provides More Parental Leave to Mom than Dad, is this Gender Discrimination?

I received a ton of feedback on last week’s blog post, which discussed Yahoo’s new parental leave policy and its FMLA implications.  Much of the feedback related to Yahoo’s decision to provide 16 weeks of paid maternity leave to female employees and 8 weeks of paid paternity leave to male employees.  Some wondered whether such a … Continue Reading

Yahoo's Sweetened Parental Leave Policy Raises Practical FMLA Certification Issues for Moms and Dads in the Workplace

It seems that what Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer taketh, she giveth back.  Or something like that.   As you will recall, Mayer made waves several months back when she banned all Yahoo employees from working from home, a rather controversial move seen by some as unfriendly to working parents. Now, in an interesting twist, Yahoo … Continue Reading

Employee's Lack of Diligence in Obtaining Timely Medical Certification Destroys Her FMLA Claim

As a management side attorney, I love when FMLA cases provide real, practical takeaways for employers that help them better administer FMLA leave.  Yesterday was one of those days, as a federal court took a plaintiff to task for: 1) failing to provide timely FMLA medical certification; and 2) failing to make a good faith … Continue Reading

A Couple Quick Tips to Fight FMLA Abuse Around the Holidays

Have your employees’ absences from work been a bit more frequent lately?  And are you tired of the lame excuses they’re providing?  After all, there are only so many times your employee’s dog can knock over the Christmas tree….on top of your employee, right? In this “best of” FMLA post, employers need not settle for patterns of … Continue Reading

Best Practices for Employers When Administering FMLA Leave: A Recap of our Webinar

Thanks to those who attended my webinar last week with Matt Morris and Tamika Lynch on “FMLA Made Easy: Effectively Managing Difficult FMLA Issues.”  If you missed the program, you can access the webinar and materials here.  As the survey feedback indicated, this webinar was a great opportunity to discuss common issues that arise in the administration … Continue Reading

The DOL's FMLA Forms Expired on December 31, 2011. Should Employers Still Use Them?

In a flurry of activity at the end of 2011, several employers contacted me to determine whether the DOL notice and certification forms still were valid, even though they contain an expiration date of December 31, 2011.  In short, employers may continue to use the DOL’s FMLA forms, although consider our suggestions below before using … Continue Reading

Employee Who Refuses to Provide Sufficient Medical Certification under FMLA is Lawfully Terminated

One the biggest FMLA headaches for employers is when an employee fails or refuses to provide information to cure insufficient or incomplete medical certification.  When the employer does not have the information to determine whether an absence qualifies as FMLA leave, it is left with a true dilemma: Try and obtain permission to talk to the … Continue Reading

Play Ball! An FMLA Lineup That Keeps You in the Pennant Race

In this opening weekend of major league baseball, hope springs eternal for every baseball fan.  In honor of my beloved Chicago White Sox, I offer an FMLA lineup card below that from top to bottom will help employers stay atop the pennant race throughout the year.  [First, feel free to play the National Anthem if you so desire…] From … Continue Reading

As FMLA Absences Mount, the Employer Must Lay Down the Law

Cook County, Illinois (the county in which Chicago is located) currently faces one of the largest budget deficits in its government’s history.  So, when the Cook County Board president (Toni Preckwinkle) tells the County Sheriff (Tom Dart) to cut $70 million from his budget, it tends to grab people’s attention.  In this story, however, this … Continue Reading

BLR Webinar: FMLA Certification

Some of the most common questions thrown at us by clients involve how to effectively navigate the medical certification process.  Join us on Tuesday, December 21, at 12:30 p.m. CST, for a webinar entitled “FMLA Certifications: How to Effectively – and Legally – Use This Weapon To Combat Abuse.”  Overview Medical certifications may just be … Continue Reading

2nd Update: GINA and certification forms

Following up on our initial post and previous update regarding the new Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act regulations (which you may wish to read first), here is what we’ve learned:  To recap, GINA prohibits employers from acquiring genetic information about employees. There are certain limited exceptions to this prohibition, one of which is for inadvertent acquisition … Continue Reading

Update: Does GINA really require you to change your certification form?

Earlier this afternoon I received a voice message from an attorney in the EEOC General Counsel’s office, suggesting that our earlier post might have gotten things wrong when we said that employers should include the new GINA “safe harbor” language in their FMLA certification forms. So far we have only been able to exchange voice … Continue Reading

GINA Rules Require New Disclosures In Requests For FMLA Certification

Employers covered by the FMLA should take note of new final regulations under the Genetic Information Nondicrimination Act (GINA) published this week by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Although the FMLA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor, not the EEOC, the new GINA regulations require employers who seek medical certifications in support … Continue Reading

6th Circuit: Employee Can Proceed With FMLA Claim Despite "Negative Certification"

When an employee remains absent even after her doctor provides a medical certification confirming that she can return to work, it might seem reasonable for an employer to deny the employee any further FMLA leave and, if the employee fails to return, to terminate her employment. However, if the employer has not specifically informed the … Continue Reading

The Importance of Clear, Accurate Notices

Two recent federal appeals court decisions highlight the importance of providing employees with clear, accurate information about their FMLA rights. First, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently held in Kobus v. The College of St. Scholastica, Inc. that a painter employed by the college could not prevail on his FMLA claims because he failed … Continue Reading
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