Human Resources News & Insights

4 FMLA errors the feds are finding during investigations

There are four aspects of the FMLA administrative process employers will want to double-check to make sure they have all buttoned up. 

Reason: The feds are on the lookout for them.

At the most recent annual conference of the Disability Management Employer Coalition, the DOL’s Branch Chief for the FMLA Helen Applewhaite presented information on recent FMLA enforcement initiatives.

She revealed some of the most common compliance problems the DOL finds when it conducts investigations into employer FMLA practices (a tip of the hat to our friend Jeff Nowak, an attorney and author of FMLA Insights, for bringing this to our attention).

The problems Applewhaite mentioned are:

  • failing to recognize when an absence is covered by the FMLA and then disciplining the employee for it (a common problem among managers)
  • failing to meet FMLA deadlines (think notice requirements)
  • medical certification administrative failures, and
  • requesting recertification more frequently than the law permits — e.g., you can’t request a doctor’s note every time an employee’s absent and tries to claim it’s covered under the FMLA.
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