No change on FMLA regulations for intermittent FMLA leave

by on January 23, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Tight FMLA certification remains your best way to halt in FMLA abuse

For HR managers who had hoped DOL would change one of the most unworkable FMLA regulations – intermittent FMLA leave – better luck next time.

After soliciting more than 10,000 comments from employers and employee groups, DOL has decided to do nothing.

DOL usually seeks public comments as a basis for changes in FMLA regulations.

Not this time. DOL merely said it hoped its report on the comments would spur “fuller discussion among all interested parties and policymakers.”

DOL admitted that its regulatory decisions had contributed to the problem, specifically, its Wage & Hour Opinion Letter FMLA-101.

The letter states that an employee who’s certified for intermittent leave has to be allowed two days to report an unscheduled absence – no matter the circumstances, and regardless of whether he could have told the employer sooner.

The letter also bars companies from disciplining intermittent-leave-certified employees on the basis of call-in policies that are stricter than existing FMLA regulations.

DOL indicated it’s aware how hard this makes it for employers to manage a workforce, but the report didn’t suggest any change would be forthcoming. If DOL isn’t going to help, what can you do?

Key: Use FMLA certifications to head off bogus, unscheduled intermittent leave before that horse gets out of the gate. This simple measure will reduce FMLA abuse.

Remember: You can seek a second and even a third opinion on the initial certification, if something smells fishy. You have to pay for the further opinions, so you may not want to do this routinely. And you can demand recertification every 30 days – more often if you have reason to suspect abuse, such as a Friday- Monday pattern.

Info: whd/fmla2007report.htm

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