IHaas is managing member at the Macon, Georgia office of Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLC.
[Go here for tips 1 to 7]
8. Require “fitness for duty” certifications for employees returning to
When employees return from leave for their own serious health condition, an employer can require a fitness for duty determination, which is another way to prevent abuse. However, a fitness for duty certification cannot be required for a return from intermittent FMLA leave.
9. Require employees to submit a recertification every 30 days.
However, if the medical certification indicates that the minimum duration of the condition is more than 30 days, an employer must wait until that minimum duration expires before requesting a recertification, except as provided below.
An employer can require recertifications more frequently than every 30 days if:
In all cases, an employer may request a recertification of a medical condition every six months in connection with an absence by the employee, even if the medical certification indicates that the employee will need intermittent or reduced schedule leave for a period in excess of six months (e.g., for a lifetime condition).
10. Require second and third opinions.
Many employees use friends and acquaintances in the medical profession to provide questionable certifications for intermittent leave. Employers who question the validity can challenge it by requiring an objective healthcare provider to look at the illness.
FMLA—the #1 hassle of 2012. BLR's compliance guide is ready to help now. Click here to find out more about the Family and Medical Leave Act Compliance Guide and also receive the FREE special report: 12 Ways to Curb FMLA Leave Abuse.
11. Have a policy prohibiting employees from working second jobs while on leave.
Without a uniform policy against holding a second job while on any type of leave (other than vacation), an employee on FMLA can be protected from disciplinary action for working a second job while on FMLA leave. Avoid the potential for abuse with a policy on point.
12. Use private investigators. If an employee is caught engaging in fraud, courts have been reluctant to hold it against an employer who terminates the employee.
Remember, the key to avoiding abuse is consistent enforcement of leave policies designed to prevent it.
FMLA hassles—they just won't go away, will they? And, now, of course, there are all the new FMLA responsibilities—like military leave and reinstatement. Shell-shocked?
It's an almost overwhelming task to keep up with FMLA, let alone get in compliance with the far-reaching changes. You're going to need a helping hand. Good news! BLR's editors have gone into overdrive to get your comprehensive compliance guide ready.
BLR's recently updated Family and Medical Leave Act Compliance Guide simplifies the frustrating and confusing complexities of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), so you know exactly how to comply in every situation.
It contains practical answers to all the FMLA questions you are asking—and the ones you haven't thought of but should be asking.
A whirlwind of changes has hit the FMLA—are you ready to comply? Download our Free Report: 12 Ways to Curb FMLA Leave Abuse, and also receive a 30-day free trial to Family and Medical Leave Act Compliance Guide. Download Now.
The Family and Medical Leave Act Compliance Guide includes:
Get more information or order your copy of the Family and Medical Leave Act Compliance Guide.
If you have comments about this tip and want to post them on this page to share your thoughts with other HR Daily Advisor readers, simply enter your comments below. NOTE: Your name will appear on any comments posted.
Copyright © 2013 BLR Business & Legal Reports Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.