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Product ID: 406020EAU
 
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Top Mistakes to Avoid When Dealing with Leave of Absence

OnDemand Webinar (94 minutes)

Avoid liability by staying in compliant with leave of absence requirements.Employers must comply with various leave laws promulgated by Congress, state legislatures, and municipal governments. These leave laws create a patchwork of overlapping protections for employees. Because of the myriad of leave laws, employers often make mistakes about when to provide leave, how to provide leave, the documents they must issue to formalize the leave, and the information that they may lawfully obtain in order to substantiate an employee's leave. These mistakes, which are often easily avoided, can create significant liability for an employer. This topic apprises employers have some of the common mistakes they make when handling employee leaves, and provides them insight on how they can avoid such mistakes in the future, which will minimize liability, conserve resources, and, in the long run, save employer's money.

Authors

Glenn S. Grindlinger, Fox Rothschild LLP

Agenda

Failing to Provide Appropriate Paperwork When Protected Leave Is Triggered

• An Employer Could Expose Itself to Liability by Failing to Make a Timely Eligibility Determination or Falling to Provide Timely Notice to Its Employees

• Knowing When There Is an Obligation to Notify an Employee That FMLA May Apply

• The Employee Does Not Need to Specifically Request FMLA

• Failure to Timely Notify Employees of Their Eligibility Status May Constitute Interference With, Restraint, or Denial of the Exercise of an Employee's Rights

Failing to Ask for Medical Documentation or Updated Medical Documentation

• Once Employees Have an Absence Beyond the Expected Duration of the Condition Listed on the Certification, an Employer Should Obtain Recertification

• Employers Have Rights When Medical Certification Is Unclear and Courts Penalize Employers Who Fail to Exercise Such Rights

Not Being Aware of (or Understanding) the Interplay Between Federal, State, Local Leave Laws

• Federal, State, and Local Leaves May Run Concurrently or Consecutively

• Employee May Not Be Entitled to Leave Under One Statute but May Be Entitled to Leave Under Another Statute

Failing to Count Paid Leaves Such as Short-Term Disability (STD) and Workers' Compensation Against FMLA Entitlement or Other Leave Entitlement

• Failing to Run FMLA Concurrent With These Benefits Could Result in the Possibility of an Individual out for an Extended Period of Time Well Beyond the Maximum Allowed Under FMLA

Communicating With an Employee About Work While on Leave and Failing to Communicate With an Employee About His or Her Prospective Return Date to Allow for You to Provide an Necessary Accommodation

• Employers Should Be Cautious About Contacting Employees on Leave Because It Could Be Perceived as Interference With the Leave, Retaliation, or Might Give Rise to a Claim for Violation of Wage and Hour Laws. Quick Phone Calls Likely Will Not Be Perceived as Interference

• Before an Employee Returns From Work and Employer Should Contact the Employee in Writing to Facilitate or Expedite the Accommodation Process Under the ADA or Other Disability or Sick Leave Laws

Leaves and Reasonable Accommodations

• An Extended Leave of Absence May Be a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA or State and Local Laws That Protect Against Disability Discrimination

• Employee May Not Be Entitled to Leave Under the FMLA, but Allowing Employee to Take Such Leave May Be a Reasonable Accommodation Under State, Federal, or Local Law

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