The Basics of FMLA Compliance
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (Pub.L. 103-3, enacted February 5, 1993) is a United States labor law allowing any employee to take unpaid leave due to a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his job or to care for a sick family member or to care for a new son or daughter (including birth, adoption or foster care) (1).
Who is eligible for Family or Medical Leave?
Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, and have worked for at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles. (2)
How much leave time are they entitled?
If you are an "eligible" employee, you are entitled to 12 weeks of leave for certain family and medical reasons during a 12-month period. (2)
To better understand what a case of FMLA looks like it would be best to read of an example. In her article, “What Are Your Rights to Family Leave?” Loring N. Spolter expands on a great example of an FMLA violation.
Sherry Morris, an insurance company manager in Kansas City, Mo., suffered a nervous breakdown and faxed her employer a doctor’s note stating that she needed two to four weeks of medical leave. She’d worked at the company, VCW Inc., for four years and recently had been named employee of the year and given an all-expense paid vacation to Hawaii for two. Ms. Morris expected VCW to grant her the time off and send good wishes for her recovery. Instead, she received a phone call from the sister of the chief operating officer who informed her she was being fired for "failing to embrace change."
Ms. Morris filed a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) lawsuit, alleging that her employer violated the federal government’s newest employment discrimination law. Jurors agreed and awarded Ms. Morris $19,376 for lost pay and unpaid bonuses. With a verdict finding that the firing was in "bad faith," the court doubled the jury verdict amount to $38,752 and required VCW to pay an additional $80,000 to Ms. Morris’ attorneys. (3)
Through Ms. Morris’ case it can be seen how important it is to know the rules of the FMLA and track the actions of involved employees accordingly. For this reason, People-Trak has created an in-depth attendance tracking tool. This tool enables employers to track hours worked to determine eligibility as well as FMLA leave per employee on a rolling 12-month calendar as this is what FMLA rules require. This powerful tool created by People-Trak will help HR professionals comply with FMLA regulations and avoid costly lawsuits. Choose People-Trak and get a HRIS system that will get you on track to being compliant with FMLA regulations today.
(n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: FMLA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FMLA
(n.d.). Retrieved from FMLA FAQ: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/fmla/faq.asp Loring N. Spolter.
(n.d.) Retrieved from CareerJournal.com: The Wall Street Journal Executive Career Site: http://www.careerjournal.com/myc/workfamily/20001031-spolter.html