Absenteeism

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    If the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to your company, you probably understand that employees must satisfy certain eligibility requirements before they can take protected leave under the statute. However, you may not realize that the FMLA might provide some protections even to employees who don't satisfy its requirements. In a...
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    It's rare to see a claim under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) in this neck of the woods. Of course, most HR professionals and managers know that USERRA generally provides that any employee whose absence from work is necessitated by military service will be entitled to reemployment if: He gives advance...
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    Q We have several employees who have been abusing their intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by calling in late or calling in a full day's absence and telling our call- in line only that they will be out "for FMLA reasons." We have been told by some of our other employees that their coworkers' absences have nothing to...
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    The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to Wisconsin employers) has expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights for employees who care for family members with serious health conditions. The FMLA allows an eligible employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to "care for" a family member with a serious health...
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    Q We have an employee over age 65 who has been a manager for over 40 years and has excellent evaluations in his file. Recently we have learned that his department is possibly committing fraud in their documentation of paperwork. He doesn't abide by company policy, doesn't meet deadlines, and has been written up one time for sexual harassment. Can...
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    Did Solvay Chemicals fire longtime employee Steven Smothers because of a first-time safety violation or because it was tired of his frequent absences due to an ongoing medical disability? The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Wyoming employers) recently ruled that Smothers provided sufficient evidence to suggest that...
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    Did Solvay Chemicals fire longtime employee Steven Smothers because of a first-time safety violation or because it was tired of his frequent absences due to an ongoing medical disability? The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Colorado employers) recently ruled that Smothers provided sufficient evidence to suggest that...
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    A sewer mechanic who suffered from bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was fired three days after he asked not to be required to carry a pager for on- call night duty because of the side effects of his prescription medicine. He then sued his former employer, alleging he was subjected to...
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    After a five-year process, the Kentucky Court of Appeals, faced with conflicting facts, missing evidence, and changing arguments, recently confirmed that yelling at a supervisor, directing obscenities at the supervisor, and being tardy 14 times in seven weeks disqualify an employee from receiving unemployment benefits. Facts Jay Scott worked...
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    Unscheduled absenteeism costs American businesses billions of dollars every year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There are myriad potential costs to take into account, including: Overtime; Paid sick days; Use of temporary or "relief/reserve" employees; Reduced productivity; Poor quality of goods or services...
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