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Common FMLA mistakes made by Milwaukee employers

There is little doubt that properly running the Human Resources department for a large Milwaukee employer is a difficult job. HR specialists are typically involved in recruiting, hiring and training new employees. In many companies, they also help resolve conflicts between employees and manage Family Medical Leave Act matters.

A recent article in a finance publication pointed out some of the most common mistakes HR departments make that result in lawsuits under the federal FMLA or the Wisconsin version of the law (W-FMLA). Those laws give employees job-protected rights to unpaid leave for the birth of a child, serious medical condition or to care for an immediate family member.

Perhaps the most significant mistake employers make is when they do not recognize legitimate requests for leave under the FMLA. After denying leave, the HR specialist or employee supervisor might well have to face a court and try to explain why they denied lawful leave to an eligible employee who made a valid request.

Another common mistake employers make is to retaliate against workers who take FMLA leave. Employers are expressly forbidden from firing, denying raises or promotions, or reducing hours or pay because an employee took leave under federal or Wisconsin FMLA laws.

According to the Yahoo Finance article, employers also err when they fail to provide workers on leave "with clear explanations of leave duration and to issue notices when an employee's remaining FMLA leave time is about to expire." Being clear and staying in compliance with the law helps companies avoid FMLA violation and retaliation claims.

When those claims are brought by employees and skilled employment law attorneys, they can cost employers much more than complying with the law would have. Contact the Milwaukee employment law firm of Alan C. Olson and Associates to discuss violations of your employee rights.

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