Employers Pay the Price When They Don’t Recognize an Employees Need for FMLA Leave

As employers, you must face a rather grim reality: the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is there for your employees at any moment. 

Whether it is deciphering a medical certification, assessing fitness for duty upon return to work, or dealing with the rather annoying intermittent leave, the FMLA is full of tight legislation that is ready to nail all businesses at the slightest hint of a slip-up.

The main “trap” is trying to determine the precise moment in which an employee has put the employer on notice of the need for family medical leave. The article states that employees shall provide the employer with sufficient information for an employer, but if it were that easy we wouldn’t need to write this piece. So here are a few things you can do to make sure that the FMLA doesn’t catch you off-guard.

  1. Maintain Effective Call-In Procedures
    Every employer needs to maintain a call-in service that requires all employees to give a minimum amount of time to report any absence (e.g. 48 hours before the planned absence). They should report the absence and what the content of the call off should be.
  2. Require Actual Information From Your Employees
    How many of you allow your employees to leave an enigmatic voicemail when they report an absence. Do you have a practice of returning these voicemail messages? How many employers probe further to find the cause of the absence?
    You should state in your FMLA that employees should communicate their reason for their absence. Ask questions of your employees to get a clear answer to determine whether or not the FMLA will become involved.

Contact the experts at Colorado Nonprofit Insurance Agency, part of HUB International in Denver, Colorado at 303-894-0298. We will work with you to ensure you are getting the most out of your coverage.