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Aug11

Work From Home While on FLMA

An employee wants to take FMLA due to her child’s illness who has been hospitalized often. If she is on FMLA part-time, or only if her child has to go to the hospital, can she work from home?

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job protected leave in a 12 month period for specified family and medical reasons.

An otherwise eligible employee who must provide care for her son or daughter because of the child’s serious health condition would most likely be covered under the FMLA. An employee may take leave when the child is unable to care for his or her own medical, safety or other needs; because of the serious health condition or assistance in being transported to the doctor; or to provide psychological comfort and reassurance to the child.

FMLA leave may be taken all at once or on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis. Under FMLA regulations, there must be a medical need for an intermittent or reduced schedule leave and it must be that the medical need is best accommodated by an intermittent or reduced schedule leave. Remember to count all of the leave time used by the employee. Employers may account for FMLA leave in the shortest period of time that their payroll systems use, provided it is one hour or less.

An employer is prohibited from interfering with, restraining, or denying the exercise of or attempt to exercise any right under the FMLA. Requiring an employee to work from home may constitute illegal interference of the employee’s leave rights. Answering occasional sporadic calls or emails would most likely be considered professional courtesy and not in violation of the FMLA.

An employer may provide an accommodation to an employee of allowing her to work from home to care for her ill child. However, such time shouldn’t be counted against the employee’s leave entitlement.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 1:51 pm and is filed under
Labor Laws.
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