Mistakes to avoid when taking FMLA leave

A company in Ohio should never challenge its employees’ federally guaranteed rights. The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, sets the rights of employees in stone and ensures that they get fair treatment if they have a medical emergency. No matter the number of employees you have, make sure to avoid these mistakes as you follow federal employment laws.

Lack of a policy

A good policy informs employees of their FMLA rights and the procedures needed to initiate a leave. When the rules are not clearly outlined, the employees will not know what to do and may decide to leave on their own terms.

Every employer needs to create and publish policies that tell their employees how to administer FMLA leave. For instance, if an employee requests 12 weeks of leave, the employer must first determine if the worker has already used this amount of time within the past 12 months. The formula that you use to calculate the designated amount of leave time should be included in the company’s handbook. Without a policy, employees do not know their rights and can make their employer open to employment litigation.

Lack of documentation

In case of a lawsuit, employers need documentation to prove that they completed the FMLA process correctly. They should write their information down on official forms to ensure that they are following federal guidelines.

What happens when you violate FMLA regulations?

When you don’t follow FMLA regulations and deliberately start a dispute, the state and federal governments often take the employee’s side. An employer may be accused of committing retaliation for refusing to acknowledge an employee’s wish to leave work for medical reasons. An FMLA dispute can cost a company a great deal for committing a retaliatory termination, so it’s important to avoid making mistakes.