The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law enacted in 1993 that provides employees with job-protected, unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. While the FMLA is a crucial piece of legislation that protects the rights of employees, it can also present both employees and employers with numerous challenges. At Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC, we are dedicated to helping employees understand their rights. We can help you delve into the challenges affecting your case, offering solutions to help you seek the resolution that you need.
Understanding the Challenges of FMLA
- Tracking Intermittent Leave: One of the most pressing challenges with FMLA administration is tracking intermittent leave. These sporadic absences can be difficult to accurately track, especially when done manually. Employees may find it challenging to properly report time off, particularly with unanticipated absences. A solution lies in ensuring that employees first request FMLA and correctly complete the related paperwork.
- Determining Absence-Associated Costs: The administration of FMLA leave can be costly for businesses. Costs can stem from administrative expenses, obtaining coverage, providing benefits to the employee on leave, and paying overtime to those absorbing the extra workload. Having a clear understanding of these costs can help organizations prepare and budget for them effectively.
- Navigating Compliance Issues: Compliance with the various facets and processes of administering FMLA leave can be daunting. Recent changes to the FMLA further complicate this challenge. Organizations may struggle due to a lack of managerial training regarding FMLA and best practices for handling unique FMLA-request cases.
- Defining Serious Health Conditions: The FMLA’s definition of a serious health condition is somewhat ambiguous. This vagueness can make it difficult for HR professionals and supervisors to determine whether an employee requesting FMLA leave for such a reason is actually eligible. Employers also worry about possible employee abuse of FMLA leave, such as exaggerating the severity of medical conditions or fabricating medical notes.
- Meeting Paperwork Timeframes: Employers have the obligation to document and file a variety of FMLA forms and notices throughout the leave process. Especially in the case of unforeseen absences, HR professionals may have a hard time responding quickly and appropriately to requests for FMLA leave in order to avoid falling behind on DOL filing timeframes.
The Role of Legal Support
Navigating these challenges can be overwhelming. However, having the right legal support can alleviate these difficulties. Attorneys with experience in employment law, like those at Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC, can help employees understand their rights under the FMLA and guide them through the process of requesting and taking leave. They can also assist employers in developing FMLA policies that comply with the law, training managers on FMLA best practices, and handling FMLA requests effectively and legally.
Talk to Our Lawyers
The challenges of FMLA can seem daunting, but they are not insurmountable. With the right legal support, both employees and employers can navigate the complexities of FMLA with confidence. If you are facing challenges with FMLA, don’t hesitate to reach out to an attorney. At Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC, we are here to help. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience in employment and civil rights law and have helped countless clients navigate their FMLA rights and responsibilities. Contact us today for a free initial evaluation of your case.