California is a state that can be challenging for employers and their HR teams to navigate. Of the many rules and laws companies must follow, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) understandably confuses many businesses. With federal and state rules to follow, it’s easy to make preventable but costly mistakes.
Not having FMLA-related information easily available
By law, an employee must be able to easily access all information about their FMLA rights. Employers must also inform workers about how they track FMLA hours and how employees can successfully take FMLA-related leave. Besides not having this information available, misleading employees about FMLA leave can also have legal consequences.
Taking action against an employee’s FMLA absences
Understandably, employers must have attendance policies to ensure workers complete their duties. There’s nothing wrong with disciplining an employee for missing too many shifts. But employers can’t punish employees for FMLA-related absences. If a business violates this rule, it can wind up facing legal action for an employment law violation.
Changing an employee’s job duties after they return
Instead of disciplining an employee, a company might assume that putting the employee in question into another role is acceptable. Whether a company changes employees’ functions as an intentional punishment or not, changing workers’ duties once they’re back from FMLA leave isn’t advisable. Instead, by law, employees returning from FMLA leave must return to their current role or another position offering the same responsibilities, benefits and pay.
No business wants to deal with crucial employees being away for long periods. However, violating FMLA law over these workers can lead to your business facing civil lawsuits and paying affected employees’ damages.