By Anna A. Cohen

Demonstrating the importance for employers to review their FMLA practices, an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL) revealed that T.G.I. Fridays’ FMLA policy and notification practices did not comply with the law. Specifically, the policy did not include information on the FMLA’s military family leave provisions, information on the right to take FMLA-covered leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis, and misstated the 12-month employment requirement for FMLA eligibility as being 12 continuous months. 

T.G.I. Fridays has agreed to revise its FMLA policy and to correct the violations found by the DOL. These changes will affect FMLA-eligible employees at its 272 locations.

The DOL’s investigation also found that the restaurant violated the FMLA by failing to reinstate an employee to the same or equivalent position, including pay, benefits and other terms of employment, and that the employee was not allowed to return to work immediately following FMLA-covered leave.

To avoid a DOL investigation and potential penalties, employers should examine their FMLA policies and notification forms, as well as review procedures for employees returning to work after leave.