Category Archives: Medical & Other Leaves

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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

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

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