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This Washington Post article details some recent efforts in Congress to enhance leave options for Federal Employees who have a child, adopt a child or who have health conditions requiring treatment.

I encourage you to write to your Congressional representative and encourage him or her to back the Maloney-Hoyer-Davis proposal. In all likelihood, it probably won’t pass into law without a Democrat in the Oval Office – the son of George Bush and his administration seems to think that the Federal government is already doing great things for the families of federal employees.

I am hopeful that there is soon some reform of the Family and Medical Leave Act – employees and managers both seem to have difficulties following its requirements, particularly the requirement of a “medical certification”.

Most Federal managers use the medical certification as a tool to block FMLA leave requests by making the medical certification so tedious and onerous that doctors often don’t understand what the Agency wants. Most employees simply don’t understand what type of information management wants in these certifications, and how to balance management’s need for some information with their own right to privacy.

What usually happens is that if a manager thinks the medical condition is serious, the employee gets time off. If the manager doesn’t think the medical condition merits time off, then the employee either stays at work or is charged AWOL. This sort of game leads to a lot of difficulties, including discrimination and disparate treatment – particularly for employees with mental health conditions.

Contact the Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC if you have had problems working with Agency managers in your requests for FMLA.

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Eric L. Pines is a nationally recognized federal employment lawyer, mediator, and attorney business coach. He represents federal employees and acts as in-house counsel for over fifty thousand federal employees through his work as a federal employee labor union representative.

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