Monthly Archives: July, 2010

Must I grant this FMLA request?


The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a narrow but important benefit for many workers in the U.S., including federal employees. The challenge for federal managers is to understand some of the intricacies of the law so that they know when and how to challenge a worker who may be misusing FMLA as an unjustified excuse to stay away from the job, while preserving the right to return to work at the employee’s option. Most federal employees do not abuse FMLA. FMLA covers leave for a serious illness of the employee or the employee’s spouse, child or parent. It also covers leave…

Handling insubordination a legal minefield for managers


Insubordination is a serious charge, often justifying the removal of an employee. Some observers of the federal workplace might think that at least some insubordination occurs on a daily basis without much of a management response. These observers see employees who continue with impunity to fail to do what they have been instructed to do. One difficulty for managers is the legal definition of the word “insubordination.” According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Merit Systems Protection Board, insubordination is the willful refusal to follow a lawful order. The challenge usually is proving the…