FMLA Interference: What Is It and How Do Employers Avoid It?

FMLA interference

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can be a complex area for both employers and employees alike. While the FMLA is designed to protect employees’ rights to take unpaid leave for medical and family reasons, employers must also be vigilant to avoid FMLA interference, retaliation, and violations. Let’s dive into the dos and don’ts for employers when it comes to FMLA interference.

FMLA interference occurs when employers impede or obstruct employees’ rights to take FMLA leave or retaliate against them for exercising these rights. It’s a delicate balance between accommodating employees’ needs and maintaining business operations effectively. Here are a few simple steps employers can take to set themselves up for FMLA success.

Ensure a thorough understanding of FMLA regulations.
Equip yourself and your HR team with comprehensive knowledge to effectively implement and enforce FMLA policies. After understanding your responsibilities, adopt clear and accessible policies and procedures which are essential for guiding employees through the FMLA process. Make certain that your organization’s FMLA policies outline eligibility criteria, notice requirements, and documentation procedures in a transparent manner.

Maintain meticulous records of all FMLA-related interactions.
Documentation is key in FMLA compliance. Be sure to maintain records of FMLA related interactions including leave requests, approvals, denials, and discussions with employees. Comprehensive documentation provides a solid defense in case of disputes or legal challenges. Treat employees who take FMLA leave no differently than those taking other forms of leave. Avoid singling out employees for negative treatment or retaliation due to their use of FMLA leave, which can amount to an FMLA violation and land your organization in trouble.

FMLA Interference Can Cost an Employer Dearly
Retaliating against employees for exercising their FMLA rights or interfering with their ability to take FMLA leave is strictly prohibited. Avoid any adverse actions, such as demotions or terminations, against employees who have taken FMLA leave. We have previously shown examples of employers who violated the FMLA and were required to pay massive amounts in penalties and judgements.

Don’t Risk Noncompliance – Contact a Trusted Partner Like BASIC!

BASIC FMLA Administration can help employers of all sizes, with five levels of service to fit the specific needs of any organization. We take the worry out of FMLA compliance with fair and consistent application of the FMLA, meeting Federal and State regulations, and catching potential cases of FMLA abuse. BASIC’s team of FMLA experts can even handle intermittent leave, the most difficult aspect of FMLA administration. With easy-to-use Employer and Employee portals, BASIC FMLA makes tracking and administering leave straightforward and painless. Plus, you’ll never feel lost with a dedicated BASIC FMLA case manager just a phone call or email away.