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To efficiently manage your staff, maintain your Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) certification guidelines and calendars.

Doing so will help prevent lawsuits, abuse of leave time and employee confusion.

Bullet-proofing FMLA policy

Whether you’re instituting or altering your FMLA policy, diligently distribute it companywide and prominently insert it in your employee handbook.

Make certain you spell out your FMLA measuring year. While your employees can take 12 weeks of leave, you have four methods from which to choose to quantify the applicable year’s period.

You should include a calendar year and the rolling method. If you don’t name the measuring year procedure, your employees become eligible for the most liberal option in your handbook.

Don’t forget handbook

Remember: It’s vital to properly choose the rolling method, communicate it to your workers and put it in your handbook.

Should change your method, you’re required to give your employees a notice of 60 days.

Four methods

Here are the four methods to count 12 months:

  1. The calendar year.
  2. A fixed 12-month leave year whether it be your fiscal year, the year mandated by your state, or a year commencing with your employees’ anniversary.
  3. The year’s period starting from when employees’ FMLA leaves start.
  4. A rolling 12-month period that you measure backward from when your employees use FMLA leave.

Companies usually use the rolling 12-month period. Why? It prevents consecutive 12-week leaves. Of course, employees like the calendar-year method.

For more on FMLA requirements, see the U.S. Department of Labor.

From the Coach’s Corner, here additional FMLA and HR resources:

Management Responsibilities if Employee is FMLA Eligible — There are guidelines required of your business if your employees think they’re eligible for FMLA. See these business tips.

HR Tips to Manage Suspicious FMLA Leave — One most-challenging issues facing employers is the fishy use of leave by employees under protection of the Family and Medical Leave Act. The FMLA has been costly to businesses. It has led to productivity issues and disruptions in scheduling and expenses. Here’s what you can do.

If it’s Necessary to Fire Employee on FMLA, Here’s How … — Despite what might you have been told, you can discharge an employee while on leave for cause under the Family and Medical Leave Act. If you feel you must terminate such an employee, here are the guidelines.

Obstacles to Anticipate Before You Terminate Employees — In our litigious environment, you must prepare for several possible discrimination scenarios to overcome before starting the termination process.

Avoid Video Conferencing When Terminating Employees — Many employers have found it necessary to terminate employees when they couldn’t do it in-person. But they’ve risked legal issues using video conferencing. Here are best practices.

“Policies are many, Principles are few, Policies will change, Principles never do.”

-John C. Maxwell


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.