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Beach-Party-VacationI always love a good social media FMLA smack down. It’s even better when the employer handles the situation in textbook fashion. Today’s installment offers both, while also providing a road map for employers when investigating suspected FMLA abuse.

Let me share the story of Rodney.

Rodney was the activity director for Accentia Health, a

FMLA-CalendarEvery once in awhile, I find myself counseling an employer with either no FMLA policy or one completely lacking any meaningful details. Often, these policies fail to include key provisions to protect against liability.

Take, for instance, the FMLA 12-month period.

As employers are aware, an otherwise eligible employee is entitled to 12 weeks of

BossHow would you like to work alongside Jim, who engages in the following behavior:

  • He makes a habit of telling co-workers what they are doing wrong, using a degrading tone of voice, and instigates arguments when doing so.  Jim regularly uses a belligerent tone of voice with co-workers.
  • When his supervisor tells him to act

no restrictionsDo you know what happens when you maintain a policy or practice that requires an employee to return to work without restrictions or “100% healed”?  You pay.  A lot.

Just ask Brookdale Senior Living Communities. Brookdale employed Bernadine, who suffered from fibromyalgia. According to the EEOC, Brookdale refused Bernadine’s accommodation requests for a temporary modified

Love-BoatThis post has nothing to do with Netflix and its new, generous parental leave policy.  Or GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina’s latest position on paid leave. Sorry to disappoint.

But it does involve an exotic boat cruise. And of course, the FMLA. Tantalizing? Jump aboard the Love Boat to find out…

The Facts

Lucy worked

midnightQ: One of my employees complained of chest pains at work and later went to the emergency room at the local hospital. However, we have learned through his medical certification that he was not admitted to the hospital until after midnight.  He spent most of the day in the hospital and was discharged later that

gay_cityhall_gavelA federal judge in Texas granted an injunction on Thursday that (for the time being) has stopped enforcement of the DOL’s final rule regarding the definition of spouse.  Under the new rule, which was scheduled to take effect today, the FMLA would cover same-sex spouses if the marriage occurred in a state that

headache -- funny dogIn the cold, sadistic world that is the FMLA, the Department of Labor tells us that ordinary, run-of-the-mill headaches (a/k/a “non-migraine” headaches) are not covered by the FMLA.  Migraine headaches, on the other hand, are covered. When I try to explain the difference in FMLA training sessions for employers, they often look at me like