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Kentucky Job Security under FMLA

Posted by Tamara

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act has presented an abundance of questions and concerns for workers in the state of Kentucky. One of the more popular questions is, do employers have an obligation to hold jobs open for workers who go out on FMLA leave?

Employees can take leave under FMLA when they have a child, or after the adoption of a child. FMLA leave may also be taken after the placement of a foster child.

Even though quite a few workers believe this to be the case, the actual answer to this question is no. The Family and Medical Leave Act does, however, require that employers either return a worker to his or her former job, or provide that individual with a job that is nearly identical in nature. The laws of this federal regulation do not address anything that might occur in a business when workers are on FMLA leave.

In fact, employers have every right to do whatever they feel is necessary in order to keep their business running smoothly. When workers do go out on FMLA leave, there are a number of options that employers may choose to solve their staffing needs.

One extremely economical solution is to have other workers who perform the same job cover for the absent individual. Of course, this will only work with larger departments in which there are several employees all performing the same duties.

Another great idea is to temporarily promote a present employee to a higher-ranking position. This works best in situations where the vacant position requires someone to make important decisions, as well as carry a good deal of responsibility. The temporarily promoted employee must be informed right from the start that he or she is only the temporary supervisor, manager, or whatever the case may be. In fact, it might be best to have such a situation put in writing so that all parties can sign and date the document.

In other cases, there may be jobs that are temporarily vacated that do not require a great deal of experience or training in order to have someone take over the duties temporarily. For these jobs, the best solution is to hire a temporary worker from an employment agency.

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