But They Didn’t Ask for FMLA

The scenario happens quite frequently. An employee needs some time off outside of the parameters of traditional paid time off. With a heart of generosity, the company allows the employee to take as much time as they need, except it reaches a certain point that now, the company desperately needs to fill the slot of the employee on leave.

And so, they unfortunately decide to terminate. When pressed with regard to the offer of FMLA, the employer retorts that it was never offered, because the employee never asked.

FMLA, or the Family Medical Leave Act, entitles eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job and benefits protected leave. Where employers can get into hot water is assuming that in order to provide FMLA to an eligible employee, that the employee needs to say the words FMLA.

This is not the case. The burden of responsibility is on the employer to initiate the FMLA process. If they can reasonably assume that an employee will need time off beyond that of a typical sick leave, it is always appropriate to send the Notice of Rights and Responsibilities to the employee. Then, investigate the process further, if necessary.

Kellye Smith, PHR®

Resource Consultant


Can I Fire the Pregnant Lady?

Congratulations! You just found the perfect candidate and she can start immediately. Shortly after they begin working, she explains that she’ll need a bit of time off. In seven months, she’ll be welcoming her second child and will need time off to recover and bond with the baby.

You panic and immediately decide this perfect candidate might not be the perfect candidate after all. You are toying with the idea of terminating the employee.

Not so fast.

The EEOC is pretty clear on its stance on pregnant employees. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes an amendment known as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Simply, an employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy, because of a pregnancy-related condition, or because of the prejudices of co-workers, clients or customers.

“What about that whole “At Will” thing? Can’t I terminate anyone for any reason?” Sure, but one would be wise to reevaluate that decision and consider the significant costs and negative PR and ethical ramifications stemming from a law suit. Not to mention, the time handling such litigation will take away from an already stretched too thin staff.

Temporarily staffing an individual in the place of the employee mentioned above or restructuring job assignments during a leave of absence can often be far less costly and disruptive than legal defense.

Kellye Smith, PHR®

Resource Consultant


Poetry Has Its Perks

Free shakes from Super Shakes
Free shakes from Super Shakes

Big thanks to Super Shakes for choosing Ross & Yerger as the “Healthiest Workplace of the Week” and bringing us free yummy shakes!

Below is the poem about our wellness program, Pulse, that R&Y’s own Kelsey Purvis submitted to Y101 for our chance to win free shakes. We had no idea we had such an awesome poet on staff!!


Pulse is the name of our wellness program.
There aren’t enough healthy tips to cram-
Between Healthy You Visits and the Health Fair,
There are plenty of fruit and veggie recipes to share.

But what makes us different from the rest?
Let’s put that to the test.
Does your company have a time slot,
An hour a week for exercising?- that’s a lot!

And in the summer, once a week
We taste Fruit and Veggies that are on fleek.
We call this activity the Food Kaleidoscope
To make heathier life changes, we sure do hope.

And intermural sports is a must
Especially when every other team is left in our dust.
2015 JSU Intermural Kickball champs
Because we eat healthy, we have no cramps.

R&Y sponsors walks and runs
To shape up all of our buns.
To show we aren’t all talk,
You should join us all at the annual JDRF Walk.

An exercise journal is what we keep,
But only benefits are what we reap.
And at the end of the year,
We are rewarded with some pretty cool gear.

The quarterly challenge is always a blast
“Win it by the minute” got our hearts beating fast.
The winning team had a nice lunch at Char
For showing the others how to set the bar.

In our office is a marvelous gym.
Running short on time is not our problem.
With treadmills, ellipticals, and punch bags galore
It’s pretty cool that working out isn’t a chore.

You see, Heathier Living is what we strive to promote
So please give Ross & Yerger the vote.
We all love an afternoon treat.
And yummy Super Shakes, you just can’t beat.

Our office is located at 200 S. Lamar
Good thing that isn’t too far.
We can’t wait to see you with shakes in hand
Now please go play on the radio a good band.