Category Archives: Medical & Other Leaves

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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

New EEOC Guidance on Leave Imposes Greater Obligations on Employers

Employers must consider providing unpaid leave and giving priority to disabled employees who want to be re-assigned under new guidance from the EEOC last month. In the new EEOC Guidance available here “Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act”, the EEOC states that if an employee requests it, an employer must consider providing unpaid leave to an employee … Continue Reading

New York State Increases Minimum Wage and Enacts Paid Family Leave

For employers with employees in New York State, the cost of doing business in the state is going to go up due to recent legislation.  New York State recently passed the following two important changes in the law which will impact all employees in the state: (a) an incremental increase in the minimum wage, and (b) paid family leave.… Continue Reading

Effective Management of Employee Medical Issues in 2015

Compliance with the Family & Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act continues to cause issues for even the most experienced workplace professionals. In recent years, both the FMLA and ADA have expanded coverage for employee medical issues. For example, employees who are approved for FMLA-covered intermittent leave must be permitted to use that leave in one-hour increments … Continue Reading

Even Planned Surgery May Be “Unforeseeable” Under the FMLA

Employees seeking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act are supposed to give 30 days’ notice if the need for leave is “foreseeable,” but what does “foreseeable” mean? Based on a recent 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, even elective surgery which could be planned far in advance, if “relatively urgent,” would not be foreseeable and thus not require … Continue Reading

Court Addresses FMLA’s Overnight Stay Requirement

In order to satisfy the Family and Medical Leave Act’s “overnight stay” requirement, an employee must be in the hospital “for a substantial period of time from one calendar day to the next calendar day as measured by the individual’s time of admission and time of discharge,” according to the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court also noted, … Continue Reading

DOL Issues New FMLA Forms

The Department of Labor has finally issued new FMLA forms. These forms (WH-380-E, WH-380-F, WH-381, WH-382, WH-384, WH-385, and WH-385V) may be accessed from the DOL’s website.

The prior FMLA forms expired well before the new ones were issued this past weekend. The new forms contain the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) disclosure language that directs medical providers not … Continue Reading

Persuading Employee to Work Rather than Taking Unpaid Leave May Result in FMLA Violation

The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) requires employers to provide eligible employees with up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn child (among other reasons), and to offer reinstatement to the employee following her leave.  The FMLA also makes it unlawful for an employer to interfere with an employee’s attempt to exercise her FMLA rights.… Continue Reading

FMLA & Medical Certification: When Does An Employer Have A “Reason to Doubt”?

Given the financial and administrative costs that FMLA continues to impose upon employers, HR managers are consulting with counsel to determine what tools are available to ensure that those who truly need FMLA leave are able to get it.  One commonly used tool is to obtain second opinions to verify the accuracy of an initial medical certification.

The FMLA in … Continue Reading

Irregular Attendance May Render An Employee With A Disability “Unqualified”

In a recent case, Daniel Mecca v. Florida Health Services Center, Inc., Case No. 8:12-cv-02561 (M.D. Fla. February 3, 2014), a federal court in Florida held that where regular attendance is an “essential function” of a position and leave will not allow regular attendance now or in the immediate future, leave is not a “reasonable accommodation.”

After resigning his … Continue Reading

Can Employer Who Has Granted Employee’s FMLA Request Dispute Employee’s FMLA Eligibility?

An employee sends an email to her manager requesting FMLA leave to care for her father “while he deals with issues surrounding his terminally ill brother.”  The supervisor writes back, “Approved,” and the employee takes leave.  Neither the FMLA nor the employer’s FMLA policy allows leave to care for a terminally ill uncle.  Based on the employee’s absence, the employer … Continue Reading

An Ounce of Prevention: Employers Should Take Precautions Now to Prepare for the 2013 Hurricane Season

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy last Fall and the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, forecasters are predicting an aggressive 2013 hurricane season, which started on June 1st.  Employers should take time before the storm hits to review and update workplace pay and leave policies:

Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)

The most frequent issues that arise from hurricanes and other natural … Continue Reading

Latest Developments Under the FMLA

There is some very interesting news in the world of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)!  The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law enacted by President Clinton that entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as … Continue Reading

DOL Expands FMLA Eligibility to Families of Eligible Veterans and Military Families

Military family leave, enacted in 2009, provides for two forms of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave benefits related to military service: Qualifying Exigency and Military Caregiver Leave.  On February 5, 2013, on the twentieth anniversary of the FMLA, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Final Rule expanding FMLA protections. One of the expansions provides families of eligible … Continue Reading

Miscalculating Eligibility for FMLA Leave Can Be A Costly Mistake

Telling employees that they’re eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act when they’re not can be a costly mistake for an employer. That’s the message behind a recent Pennsylvania decision. In Medley v. Montgomery County, (E.D. Pa.) No 2:12-cv-01995, a nursing assistant worked fewer than  the 1250 hours required to be eligible for FMLA leave. However,  … Continue Reading

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