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8 Simple Ways Employers Can Limit FMLA Abuse

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides workers with important protections, but can leave employers vulnerable to its abuse. Administration of these protected leaves can be time-consuming and often confusing. Some proactive steps can go a long way to prevent abuse and hold employees accountable for abuse that may occur.

Vanasse Workers Compensation Lancaster, PA

The FMLA does also provide employers with protections, with a few simple ways to stay on top of FMLA compliance without disrupting the workplace.

  • Check your policies. Before doing anything else, make sure you know what your policies and procedures include. Updating the current policy can help to alleviate future issues and miscommunications.
  • Require 30 days for foreseeable FMLA leave. Having advance notice helps everyone involved. As an employer, you can plan which projects need addressed before the employee leaves. Of course, not all leaves can be planned, but it will work to help most leaves.
  • Have everything in writing. Written leave requests help keep a company organized and discourage abuse. By using a paper trail, your company will be protected and employees will be less likely to try to work around the system.
  • Measure leave by 12-month period. This can help avoid doubling up on leave when it is measured by calendar year. Some employees will abuse that system by taking their leave at the end of one year, then the beginning of the next.
  • Request employees provide medical certification within 15 days. Documents are the biggest tool against abuse of systems. When this is implemented, companies are better suited to act when a system is abused, and can require re-certification as needed.
  • Require re- As a rule of thumb, try to have employees submit re-certification every 30 days. In some cases, re-certification can be required even more regularly, such as when circumstances change or information comes to light to call the leave into question.
  • Request medical treatments are scheduled around business hours, when possible. Of course, this is not always possible. In those cases, have employees put in writing why it could not be done. This will keep everything transparent, honest and fair.
  • Check in. Keep the lines of communication open and ensure they are doing everything legally. Also, by checking in to see how they are doing, they will be less inclined to abuse the system. This is both because they will have to give updates and because it can help the employee feel the company cares when executed properly.

If you feel your employer is in violation of FMLA laws, contact our Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Vanasse Law today so we can put our years of experience to work for you.