According to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), most employers in Tennessee and around the country must provide their employees with unpaid leave under certain conditions. During this time, employers must continue to give their employees health benefits and have their job waiting for them when they get back. If an employer breaks the law, whether intentionally or accidentally, they might find themselves in the middle of an FMLA dispute.
How can employers avoid FMLA disputes?
FMLA requires certain employers to offer unpaid leave to anyone who’s eligible. Typically, this includes employees who have worked at the business for at least a year and clocked at least 1,250 hours. The business must also have 50 or more employees working at that store and at nearby locations.
To request leave, an employee has to talk to their employer first. Some businesses have gotten sued because they mistakenly refused an employee who was qualified to take FMLA leave. If an employee needs to take time off, make sure you double-check their eligibility before approving or denying their request.
You should also be careful to document every absence, including FMLA leave, sick days, vacation time and other forms of leave. If you haven’t been keeping track of your employee’s absences, you might not have the grounds to deny them FMLA leave, which could lead to legal challenges. Documenting absences can also prevent employees from abusing the system.
Finally, make sure that other supervisors in the company are well-educated on FLMA and employee eligibility. If someone in your business gives your employees the wrong information, you might have to call an employment litigation attorney to help you defend yourself against an upcoming lawsuit.
How can you protect your business?
Whether you’re dealing with a simple misunderstanding or a serious breach of contract, the threat of legal action could have a major impact on your business. An attorney could help you resolve the issue out of court, if possible. If not, your attorney could help you defend your company in front of a judge. This could protect you from costly lawsuits that could cause your business to go under.