Inquire about the intended method of transportation if an employee requests to leave work early because of his or her own serious health condition. Employees must have been on the payroll for 30 days to be eligible for paid FMLA benefits. Employers may retroactively adjust leave and reclassify leave as FMLA leave in order to make sure an employee’s allotted FMLA leave is extinguished. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb. While the ADA does give you some leeway by not requiring you to provide an accommodation if it creates an “undue hardship” on your business, there’s no such standard for FMLA leave. Here are four tips on certifying leave requests: 1. The rules define a qualifying situation as one involving: (1) shortnotice deployment; (2) military events and related activities; (3) child care and school activities; (4) financial and legal arrangements; (5) counseling; (6) rest and recuperation; (7) post-deployment activities; and (8) additional activities in which the employer and employee agree to the leave. By Jeff Nowak on July 14, 2016. “Some changes favor employers by offering greater flexibility in administering leave. Direct contact with doctor allowed. Lackadaisical employers can easily be taken advantage of in the context of FMLA intermittent leave. A. You’re certainly not the only employer to complain about employees taking advantage of intermittent leave. If there’s no such requirement and you intend to require paid leave to run concurrent with FMLA leave, you might not be able to require a medical certification, which is the first step in an anti-fraud program. It’s not legal for an employer to reduce the total amount of leave just because it’s taken intermittently. Then after a few months, she would like to return to her home country to visit with family for a month. Only the amount of time taken to deal with the approved situation may be charged as FMLA leave. If an employee is otherwise exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, providing unpaid FMLA leave will not cause her to lose her exempt status. If the second opinion differs from the first, the employer may request at its expense a third medical opinion which will be binding. You also can wait until the provider gives you that estimate to approve intermittent leave. Employers are responsible for keeping track of the total amount of leave used. Share it with your network! The employee remains entitled to FMLA leave throughout that 12-month period, even if the 1,250-hour calculation is not met at some later point in the 12-month period. Posted in Chronic serious health condition, Intermittent Leave, Serious Health Condition. Here’s how it works. Chronic Conditions: Can an Employer Deny FMLA Leave When an Employee Does Not Attend Two Doctor Visits in One Year? Employers cannot require a doctor’s note for each absence. Then she didn’t return to work after taking intermittent leave at the end of December. The caregiving services can be either physical or emotional or both and include transportation services. But it’s imperative that HR professionals … have updated their policies so they don’t inadvertently violate the law.”. Intermittent FMLA Leave: it is the more flexible way of taking leave. (FMLA regulations allow employers to reduce pay for unpaid leave without destroying an employee’s exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act.). If she is eligible for leave at that time (because she has worked for the employer at least one year and has worked more than 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months), she can take up to 12 weeks of intermittent leave until the end of the calendar year. The law also entitles you to ask for a second or third opinion, if necessary, before granting FMLA leave. Family members include spouse, child, and parent. Medical certification must relate only to the serious health condition that is causing the leave. Ask the physician to verify that the medical certification is exactly as he or she signed it and has not been altered. In other words, she wants to split up FMLA leave into an eight-week period and a four-week period. Wait until the end of your FMLA leave year to get the new intermittent-leave certification. 7. However, as long as the employee is taking time off for her FMLA-qualifying illness, you always should count the actual time without regard to any prior estimates by the physician or the employee. Note: The DOL has said that an employee’s pattern of absences (e.g., taking Mondays and Fridays off for FMLA leave) may, by itself, cast doubt on the employee’s stated reason. Because their conditions can flare up at any time, their absences are by nature unpredictable. Therefore, the employee is eligible for 480 hours of intermittent leave. An employee is entitled to 12 weeks of leave. Employees may take FMLA leave intermittently—taking leave in separate blocks of time for a single qualifying reason or on a reduced leave schedule—reducing the employee’s usual weekly or daily work schedule. Employers now have five business days—instead of two—to send out FMLA eligibility and designation notices to employees. 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