Curbing FMLA Abuse: How to Manage Manipulative Employees
|Date / Time:
About 62% of workers nationally qualify to take leave under the FMLA, and over 50 million employees have taken advantage of leave under the act. Managing FMLA leave can be extremely challenging for employers, especially in the face of rampant employee abuse.
However, there are tools available to employers seeking to minimize abuse of the protections provided by the FMLA. While there is no magic cure to instantly constrain employee abuse, a clear understanding of the rules and regulations established by the federal leave statute, together with proper application of the limited controls and mechanisms for monitoring employee leave can help.
Quick Review of the Basics in the Statute
Issues in Managing FMLA Abuse
- Coverage and Eligibility
- Notice and Recordkeeping
- Who Is a Family Member?
- Changes Under the New Regulations
- Most Common FMLA Violations
Strategies for Controlling Intermittent and Reduced Schedule Leave
- Intermittent Leave and Reduced Scheduling
- Late or Inadequate Notification
- Incomplete Certifications
- Suspicious Claims
Termination of Employees While on FMLA Leave
- Certifications, Clarifications and Recertification
- Paid vs. Unpaid Leave
- Transfers and Related Scheduling Changes to Accommodate Intermittent Leave
- Recommended Changes to Your Leave and Notice Policies
- Investigation and Discipline of Fraudulent FMLA Use
- Managing Risk - The Floodgate Effect vs. Sending a Message
You Be the Judge
- Return-to-Work Issues
- Interplay Between FMLA, ADA and Workers' Compensation
- Checklist for Making the Termination Decision
About The Presenters
- Practical Applications From Case Studies
Eric D. Chapman
James K. Cowan, Jr., Esq.
- Attorney with CowanPerry PC
- Practice focuses in the areas of business litigation, employment law, and corporate transactions
- Represents clients in Virginia and North Carolina where he is actively licensed to practice
- Experienced in evaluating and analyzing employment law claims, including E.E.O.C., ADA, Title VII, and ADEA
- Member of the Virginia State Bar; North Carolina State Bar; the Ted Dalton American Inns of Court; and Board Member of the New River Valley Chapter of Mental Health America
- Appointed in 2014 as the 27th Circuit Representative for the Virginia State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Conference
- J.D. degree, magna cum laude, Washington & Lee University School of Law
Brian S. Wheeler
- Chairman and founder of CowanPerry PC in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virgina
- Practice focuses on labor and employment counsel, and litigation
- Represents a number of employers in the mid-Atlantic region, ranging from high-tech start-ups to large manufacturers
- 18 years litigation experience in federal and state courts across Virginia defending wrongful discharge claims, claims for relief under the Family Medical Leave Act and Fair Labor Standards Act, disability discrimination claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, age discrimination claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and claims of sexual harassment, and race and gender discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Focuses on assisting clients with compliance obligations under the FLSA, FMLA, ADA, ADEA, Title VII, and Executive Order 11246 compliance, including preparation of affirmative action plans and responding to OFCCP audits
- Frequent speaker and corporate trainer for companies on sexual harassment, employment discrimination, FMLA and ADA compliance, the Fair Labor Standards Act, diversity and affirmative action, conducting workplace investigations, hiring and firing, and union free management
- Member of the Virginia State Bar; the Virginia Bar Association, Labor Relations and Employment Law Section; board member for the New River Valley Society for Human Resource Management; currently serves as general counsel to the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance, and as chairman of the New River Valley Regional Executive Council
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Labor and Employment Law; selected as a Virginia Super Lawyer in Employment and Labor
- Attorney with CowanPerry PC
- Practice focuses on complex commercial litigation including employment and energy matters
- Represents a number of mid-size to Fortune 500 employers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee where he is actively licensed to practice
- 10 years in federal and state courts across Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia defending breach of contract claims, product liability claims, wrongful discharge claims, age discrimination claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, claims for relief under the Family Medical Leave Act and Fair Labor Standards Act, and claims of sexual harassment, and race and gender discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Member of the Virginia Bar Association; and member of the New River Valley Society for Human Resource Management
- Listed as a Virginia Super Lawyer Rising Star in Commercial Litigation, 2010
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