One of the most effective ways to avoid employment litigation and costly lawsuits is to ensure that all line managers in a company know how to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
There are many aspects to the FMLA, and therefore, it is advisable that all managers have some type of training in regard to what rights employees have in relation to this law. The following are some of the most common mistakes that line managers make when misinterpreting the FMLA.
They believe that minor illnesses will not qualify under the FMLA?The law talks about a serious medical condition that must be present in order for an employee to qualify for leave under the FMLA. However, the law defines a serious health condition as one that needs three consecutive days of leave and a minimum of two doctor's appointments. Therefore, a condition such as the flu could be considered severe.
They think it's permissible to disclose private medical information about an employee
Managers should never share the personal medical information of employees unless it is directly with the human resources department or their manager.
They do not realize that some leave is unforeseeable
Employees should give reasonable notice when it comes to making plans to take family or medical leave. However, being able to foresee taking leave is not always possible, and in certain situations, they do not need to give any notice at all.
As an employer, it is important to ensure that all of your line managers understand how the FMLA works. You can prevent expensive court cases from arising in the future.
Source: Rapid Learning Institute, "The Top Five FMLA Compliance Mistakes That Could Land You in Court," accessed March 08, 2018