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FMLA What Supervisors Need to Know. © Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0901 Session Objectives You will be able to: Identify the purpose and benefits of.

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Presentation on theme: "FMLA What Supervisors Need to Know. © Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0901 Session Objectives You will be able to: Identify the purpose and benefits of."— Presentation transcript:

1 FMLA What Supervisors Need to Know

2 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Session Objectives You will be able to: Identify the purpose and benefits of FMLA Recognize when and to whom it applies Understand key provisions of the law Assist employees in handling leaves appropriately Protect yourself and our organization from liability

3 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Purpose, benefits, basic provisions of FMLA Coverage and eligibility for leave Notice and recordkeeping requirements How rules affect benefits and hiring Prohibitions and potential liabilities Intermittent leaves and reinstatement Session Outline Purpose, benefits, basic provisions of FMLA Coverage and eligibility for leave Notice and recordkeeping requirements How rules affect benefits and hiring Prohibitions and potential liabilities Intermittent leaves and reinstatement

4 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Allows leave for family and medical issues Provides for the maintenance of benefits Guarantees reinstatement to the same or an equivalent position How FMLA Helps Employees Allows leave for family and medical issues Provides for the maintenance of benefits Guarantees reinstatement to the same or an equivalent position

5 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc FMLA History Federal law enacted in 1993 Military family leave provisions added in 2008 Final revised regulations issued in 2008 Helps employees balance work and family Federal law allows states to include more expansive provisions

6 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Amount of Leave Allowed FMLA allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the care of: A newly born, adopted, or foster-placed child A spouse, child, or parent with a “serious health condition” Your own serious health condition

7 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc weeks of leave during a 12-month period due to a qualifying exigency arising out of a call to active duty 26 weeks of leave during a 12-month period to care for a family member injured or ill as a result of service in the military 2008 Family Military Leave Amendment 12 weeks of leave during a 12-month period due to a qualifying exigency arising out of a call to active duty 26 weeks of leave during a 12-month period to care for a family member injured or ill as a result of service in the military

8 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc FMLA allows substitution of paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave including: Vacation, personal, or sick leave Paid leave Short-term disability insurance Workers’ compensation leave Substituting Paid Leave For Unpaid FMLA Leave FMLA allows substitution of paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave including: Vacation, personal, or sick leave Paid leave Short-term disability insurance Workers’ compensation leave

9 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Substituting Paid Leave (cont.) Substitution rules for family military leave Qualifying exigency leave Serviceperson caregiver leave

10 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Reasons for Leave: Serious Health Condition Physical or mental condition Pregnancy or prenatal care Chronic, serious condition Multiple medical treatments

11 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Reasons for Leave: Bonding With a Child “Bonding” leave may be taken by an employee for the: Birth of his or her own child, or Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care

12 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Employees may take leave to care for a covered family member in the armed forces who is: Undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy In military outpatient treatment On the temporary disability retired list Employees may take leave to care for a covered family member in the armed forces who is: Undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy In military outpatient treatment On the temporary disability retired list Reasons for Leave: Caring for a Servicemember

13 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Qualifying exigencies include: Short-notice deployment Military events and related activities Childcare and school activities Counseling Financial and legal matters Periods of rest and recuperation Post-deployment activities Other activities Qualifying exigencies include: Short-notice deployment Military events and related activities Childcare and school activities Counseling Financial and legal matters Periods of rest and recuperation Post-deployment activities Other activities Reasons for Leave: Qualifying Exigency

14 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Would You Approve These Requests? Employee requests 12 weeks of leave: W ife has cancer and needs home care E mployee used 3 weeks of leave 6 months ago for surgery Would you approve this leave?

15 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Would You Approve These Requests? (cont.) Employee requests 12 weeks of leave: H usband was injured on active duty E mployee used 12 weeks of leave 9 months ago Would you approve this leave?

16 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Would You Approve These Requests? (cont.) Employee requests 30 days of leave: N eeds inpatient treatment for alcoholism H as never requested leave before Would you approve this leave?

17 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Certification includes: Healthcare provider contact information The starting date and expected duration Medical facts A statement of the need for time off Information on the ability to perform essential functions Certification includes: Healthcare provider contact information The starting date and expected duration Medical facts A statement of the need for time off Information on the ability to perform essential functions Medical Certification of Serious Health Condition

18 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc We may contact the healthcare provider Privacy requirements must be met More information may be needed We may contact the healthcare provider Privacy requirements must be met More information may be needed Medical Certification (cont.)

19 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Medical Certification (cont.) DOL forms In most cases, employees must return form within 15 days Certification may be required for family military leave

20 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Second and Third Opinions We may request an independent medical examination We may also request a third opinion Third opinion is binding and final We pay for these opinions

21 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc FMLA: Basic Provisions Do you understand: T he purpose of FMLA? T he amount of leave FMLA allows? W hat a “serious health condition” is? W hen “bonding” leave is available? W hat a “qualifying exigency” is? T he requirements for medical certification and consultation?

22 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Who’s Covered? Private employers State and local governments and most federal employers

23 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Eligible Employees Worked for 12 months for our organization Worked for a total of 1,250 hours in the most recent 12 months

24 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Eligible Employees (cont.) Consecutive months of service not required—can be 7-year break in service All employees on payroll count toward 50 employee requirement Worksite count made at time of leave request 50 employee requirement site-specific

25 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Employees must: Give at least 30 days’ notice or reasonable notice where leave is foreseeable Give notice under employer’s usual and customary notice requirements where leave is not foreseeable Give notice “as soon as possible” if the need for military leave is foreseeable Provide certification as required Notice Requirements Employees must: Give at least 30 days’ notice or reasonable notice where leave is foreseeable Give notice under employer’s usual and customary notice requirements where leave is not foreseeable Give notice “as soon as possible” if the need for military leave is foreseeable Provide certification as required

26 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc We must provide: Eligibility notice (within 5 days) Rights and responsibilities notice (within 5 days) Designation notice Notice Requirements (cont.) We must provide: Eligibility notice (within 5 days) Rights and responsibilities notice (within 5 days) Designation notice

27 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Recordkeeping Requirements We must retain records for 3 years We must keep records confidential

28 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc FMLA and Benefits We must maintain: Group health benefits Other benefits according to company policy We may count FMLA leave against employees for attendance or bonuses

29 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Premiums must continue to be paid Employees are entitled to new benefits Changes of benefits notices must be given to employees on FMLA leave Benefits must pick up where they left off if employee stops them during leave FMLA and Benefits (cont.) Premiums must continue to be paid Employees are entitled to new benefits Changes of benefits notices must be given to employees on FMLA leave Benefits must pick up where they left off if employee stops them during leave

30 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc FMLA: Basic Provisions Do you understand: C overed employees? E ligible employees? N otice and recordkeeping requirements? R equirements concerning benefits?

31 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Prohibitions and Liabilities Under FMLA, we may not: Interfere with employee rights Retaliate against any employee Discriminate against or discharge employees who oppose unlawful practices Discharge an employee for filing charges

32 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc We may be liable for damages if we violate employees’ FMLA rights You could also be liable We may be liable for damages if we violate employees’ FMLA rights You could also be liable Prohibitions and Liabilities (cont.)

33 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Special Cases Current substance abuse treatment is covered Spouses in same workplace: Do not each get 12 weeks’ leave for bonding or to care for a parent with a serious health condition Are limited to a total of 12 weeks for family members on active duty or called to active duty Caring for injured or ill servicemember

34 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Intermittent Leave Permitted for serious health conditions Permitted for family military leave Prohibited for bonding leave unless employer allows it

35 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Light-Duty Leave Alternate duty arrangements: Nonintermittent leave Alternate duty hours

36 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Qualified employees keep same or equivalent job We may deny reinstatement if employees: Would not have remained employed Announce intent not to return Have taken leave fraudulently or violated policy Are no longer qualified to perform the job Qualified employees keep same or equivalent job We may deny reinstatement if employees: Would not have remained employed Announce intent not to return Have taken leave fraudulently or violated policy Are no longer qualified to perform the job Reinstatement

37 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Reinstatement (cont.) We may deny reinstatement to “key employees” We may delay reinstatement until an employee provides a fitness-for-duty certificate

38 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc FMLA Leave: True or False? A second and third medical opinion may be required before approving a request for leave for an employee’s or family member’s serious health condition. An employee must give 30 days’ notice to request any FMLA leave. Our organization must pay insurance premiums while an employee is on leave, but the employee must continue to pay copayments. Employees who take leave are guaranteed to be reinstated to their previous job. FMLA applies to all private employers.

39 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Key Points to Remember Their own serious health condition; To care for a family member with a serious health condition; Due to a qualifying exigency; or For the birth or placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for:

40 © Business & Legal Reports, Inc Eligible employees can take up to 26 weeks of leave in a 12-month period to care for a family member who has become injured or ill while on active duty Leave can be taken intermittently Workers generally receive benefits while on leave and are reinstated when leave expires


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