Category Archives: Medical & Other Leaves

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Avoiding Potential Workplace Claims Arising from Reopening of Businesses

As employers contemplate or commence reopening, they should be cognizant of potential workplace claims which are likely to escalate in the COVID-19 era. Such claims can arise out of a wide range of situations, including: deciding which employees should be brought back to the worksite first, which should be allowed to continue to telework and where there isn’t sufficient work, … Continue Reading

DOL Issues Regulations on Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA Leave

Demonstrating that guidance on the newly mandated Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave is fluid, on April 6, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) published new regulations as a “temporary rule” expanding on and tinkering with its prior guidance under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The new rule became effective … Continue Reading

Relief for Employers in the CARES Act

The Federal Corona Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), approved Friday in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, provides businesses with a myriad of opportunities for relief, including expansion of unemployment benefits, advance refunding of tax credits for employers that provide expanded FMLA leave and emergency paid sick leave, small business loan programs, debt forgiveness, and more. Summaries of the … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Issues FFCRA Guidance, Poster

A flurry of publications from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) provide employers with additional details regarding the recently-passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Q&A guidance issued March 24 establishes an April 1, 2020 effective date and explains how to calculate the 500-employee threshold and hours used to determine employees’ leave entitlement. A March 24 Wage and Hour … Continue Reading

Paid Sick Time and FMLA Expansion Law Passes

Employers with fewer than 500 employees will be required to provide paid leave to certain employees impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and will receive a tax credit in return, under a new law approved by the Senate and signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020. These measures are set to take effect no later than April 2, 2020.

The … Continue Reading

New Sick Leave Entitlements for Quarantined NY Employees and More Coming

Immediate pay and job protection for New Yorkers quarantined as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) , as well as comprehensive paid sick leave that will impact all employers within six months, will be enacted imminently into law, Governor Cuomo of New York has announced.

Originally designed as one bill, New York lawmakers and the Governor reached agreement on the … Continue Reading

Paid Sick Leave and Other Relief Coming for Employees Affected by COVID-19

Employers with fewer than 500 employees will be required to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for certain employees impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and will receive a tax credit in return under an emergency bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives this weekend. The Senate is expected to consider the bill this week and President … Continue Reading

Declaration of COVID-19 as a Pandemic Changes Rules for Employers

The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020 finally acknowledged that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a pandemic. That designation changes the rules for employers.

The standard for justifying disability-related inquiries and medical examinations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is now easier to meet, based on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Guidance for Pandemic Preparedness from … Continue Reading

What Employers Need to Know about Coronavirus

Although there have only been a handful of confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV or the “coronavirus”) within the United States so far, employers are nevertheless well-advised to take affirmative steps to protect their employees from this rapidly spreading respiratory illness – even if the employers do not have any operations or employees based in China, where the … Continue Reading

Job Descriptions Can Be A Shield or Sword

Job descriptions can be a shield or a sword for employers. In addition to setting clear job expectations, informing candidates of what the job entails, and providing a framework for evaluations, they are often used in litigation arising from workplace claims.

Job descriptions can be critical in litigating actions under the Fair Labor Standard Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act … Continue Reading

Illinois Expands Employee Rights and Imposes New Obligations on Employers

New Illinois Expense Reimbursement Obligations

Joining employers in California and a growing number of other states, Illinois employers must now reimburse their employees for all expenditures or losses incurred within the scope of their employment which were authorized or required by their employer. A failure in compliance could result in severe penalties and the payment of employees’ attorneys’ fees.

Effective … Continue Reading

Must An Employer Grant a Request for Indefinite Leave?

What do you do when an employee wants leave for a medical condition, but has already exhausted or is not eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act? Tread carefully.

Maybe you’re not a covered employer under the FMLA. Maybe the employee is not eligible for FMLA leave, or has already exhausted all leave available under the FMLA. … Continue Reading

New Paid Leave Laws Extend to Domestic Violence

A new breadth of employee laws are sweeping the nation, and this time they are directed at providing employees paid leave to take care of themselves or a loved one in a domestic violence situation.

The United States has a very serious domestic violence problem. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in … Continue Reading

The Challenges of Poor FMLA Certifications

Did that FMLA certification arrive illegible? Is the information provided too vague? Are the responses to the questions internally inconsistent? Do you suspect that it wasn’t filled out by a healthcare provider at all?

Employers navigating the FMLA maze – especially those who outsource the function – may not get the information they need in the certification. Many simply accept … Continue Reading

DOL Again Offers Opinion Letters to Employers

Employers will once again have another source of guidance on wage and hour issues from the U. S. Department of Labor, which last month reinstated the practice of issuing opinion letters. The DOL stopped issuing opinion letters during the Obama administration, and instead switched to a practice of offering Administrator’s Interpretations (AI), which have broader applicability. Employers, who can rely … Continue Reading

Risks And Costs Of Using PTO Buckets In A Paid Leave Statute World

With a growing number of states and cities implementing paid sick leave statutes, employers with PTO policies may be wondering whether it still makes sense to bundle different types of time off – sick, personal, and vacation – into a single bucket. The good news is that employers generally do not have to change their policies so long as they … Continue Reading

Loose Lips Can Constitute Interference with FMLA Leave

Disclosure of medical confidential information can result in a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference claim, even when the employer does not actually interfere with the employee’s right to take FMLA leave. So held a federal court recently in Fort Myers, Florida in the case of Holtrey v. Collier County Board of Commissioners.Continue Reading

Refereeing FMLA Leave: When Making The Call To An Employee On FMLA Leave Is Out Of Bounds

Can I call an employee to answer a work-related question while he is out on FMLA leave recovering from surgery? If he wants to join a conference call, can I let him, or am I exposing the company to a claim that we “interfered” with his FMLA leave? Employers must pause for a time out to analyze the potential consequences … Continue Reading

Stay Ahead Of The Tides: The Ever Changing California Employment Landscape

Employers with California employees are already familiar with the particularities and unique challenges associated with doing business in this state. As other west coast states appear to be meeting or surpassing California’s previously employee-friendly landscape, California is stepping up its game with an ever-expanding list of new ordinances and regulations. In just the last few weeks, several cities have instituted … Continue Reading

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