FMLA alert: Consistently enforce call-off rules.

You have the right to set reasonable call-off requirements for situations in which employees will miss a shift or arrive late. You can discipline workers who violate the rules.

But beware: If your managers fail to consistently enforce the call-off rules, you can quickly wind up losing an FMLA lawsuit.

The key point: If you're going to have a strict call-off rule, enforce it every time. For example, as this employer learned, supervisors should never allow certain employees to text their call-off notifications while requiring other workers to call.

Recent case: An employee sent a text message to his boss saying that he would miss work due to an illness. (The illness would have qualified for FMLA leave.) Company policy required making a phone call to a supervisor to report illnesses, so the employee was fired.

He sued for interference with his FMLA rights and won. The reason: He successfully argued Pay-bias lawsuits that other employees routinely texted their absence notifications...

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