Jeff Nowak, friend and attorney, is a specialist in dealing with the Family and Medical Leave Act. I have referenced him a number of times and today I am referring you to a specific blog post of his.
Reduce or eliminate ambiguity
In his post Poorly Implemented FMLA Policies and Procedures are Killing Employers. Don’t Be That Employer, Jeff tells us of two cases that cost the employers dearly. The key message in Jeff’s discussion of both cases is that clarity and lack of ambiguity are important in FMLA policies. Jeff specifically says:
“Let there be no ambiguity as to whether maternity, parental, caregiver, disability or any other kind of paid leave runs concurrently with FMLA leave. The FMLA regulations allow employers to run paid leave concurrently with FMLA, so do it. And make it crystal clear in your policy.”
Importance of providing notices
In the second case Jeff discusses he tells us of mistakes that the employer made in providing the appropriate notices to employees informing them of their FMLA rights and obligations. A second attorney friend, Eric B. Meyer, also wrote about this same case in What employers can learn from one company’s $747,320.66 FMLA mistake. He also points out the importance of providing notifications to employees requestion leave. He also points out you don’t even have to make up the form. The government provides them to you and you can find them HERE. This case showed how failing to complete a form prohibited an employer from effectively dealing with an employee who missed her return date from leave. There was confusion on what the appropriate date of return was and this lack of clarity ended costing them almost $748,000.
If you are dealing with FMLA it is important that you read both of these blog posts and follow this sage advice from these two attorneys that deal with the stuff ALL the time.
GO NOW! READ and CORRECT your policies and procedures.