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Managing Employee Absence This Halloween? Prevent a Nightmare on DOL Street

Intermittent FMLA leave tracking, eligibility requirements and varying leave policies by state is enough to haunt HR in their dreams. However, managing employee absence doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. Here are a few general tips to follow to keep you on track and help you sleep this Halloween -

• An employer has the right to request a medical certification for an employee absence, but don’t ask for one more often than every 30 days (in most cases.) Give the employee space. Don’t wear that metaphorical bladed glove.

• Determine the best “FMLA Year” and publicize it. The four ways to count an “FMLA Year” is using the calendar year, any fixed 12 month period, a 12 month period measured forward, or a rolling 12 month period. You could even have the 12 month period start on Halloween each year! (Technically speaking…) Whichever you choose, make sure the determined time period is applied consistently in every absence.

• Notify an employee of their eligibility within five business days of the leave request.

• Stay up to date on leave policies by state. Know the states that recognize same-sex marriages and same-sex marriages in other jurisdictions and make sure you’re using the term spouse appropriately. (Quick tip: Those states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Vermont and Washington, plus the District of Columbia.)

• Manage FMLA with the ADA in mind – always. Provide employees with reasonable accommodations when requested. Keep in mind that extra leave time can be a reasonable accommodation.

Following these tips, along with others can help you avoid any DOL nightmares. Ready to track employee absence in the cloud? Give LeaveXpert a test drive (but not in a convertible) with our free 30 day trial. We’ll leave you with this little ditty – Happy Halloween!

One, Two....DOLs Coming for You... Three, Four....Better Document More... Five, Six....Know the Leave’s Basics... Seven, Eight....Better Track the Dates... Nine, Ten.....Never use Spreadsheets Again!

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