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Employment Law Updates
& Best Practices for Employers

Category Archives: Family Medical Leave Act

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Preparing for New York Paid Family Leave: Fast Facts and Best Practices for Empire State Employers

Posted in Family Medical Leave Act, Paid Sick Leave, Parental Leave
Overview While the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not require paid family and medical leave, New York’s incoming Paid Family Leave Program (“PFL”) will guarantee paid leave for nearly all private sector employees, joining programs in California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.… Continue Reading

One Bite, Two Apples: Third Circuit Confirms That Requests For Leave Under the FMLA Can Simultaneously Qualify As A Request For A Reasonable Accommodation

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act
The interplay between the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) is an area of confusion for most employers. This confusion is understandable as both statutes serve distinct purposes but require a covered employer to grant medical leave to employees in certain circumstances. Employees may require a leave of… Continue Reading

Lawsuit Bait: Reimagining the Revenant in Today’s Litigious World

Posted in Discrimination, Family Medical Leave Act, OSHA
Although the Oscars are eleven days away, it seems that the online collective of paid critics, amateur bloggers, and self-professed film buffs has already announced the “rightful winners.”  Whatever the Academy Awards Committee officially decides, the court of public opinion has long since pulled the Oscar bait off the hook and separated the wheat from… Continue Reading

Snow Laughing Matter: Employers Ask Important Questions About Inclement Weather and their Responsibilities towards Employees

Posted in Fair Labor Standards Act, Family Medical Leave Act
With the first (and hopefully the worst) of the winter’s calamities behind us, HRLegalist is reminded of a silly, but apt, joke: A: Knock Knock! B: Who’s There? A: Snow! B: Snow who? A: Snow laughing matter. On the heels of Storm Jonas many employers rightly raise important questions about how inclement weather closures could affect… Continue Reading

New Family Medical Leave Act Forms Now Available Online from the Department of Labor

Posted in Family Medical Leave Act
Effective immediately, employers have new versions of the seven DOL-issued Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms to use.  The revised forms are: WH-380-E Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition; WH-380-F Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition; WH-381 Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities; WH-382… Continue Reading

Same-Sex Marriage is the Law of the Land: What’s Next for FMLA Benefits?

Posted in Family Medical Leave Act
FMLA Rights: Earlier this year, HR Legalist announced the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Final Rule (29 C.F.R. § 825.102) that changed the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to include all marriages that were lawfully recognized in the place where they were performed, regardless of where the couple… Continue Reading

Tips to Help Stem the Rising Tide of FMLA Claims

Posted in Family Medical Leave Act
In recent years, the number of federal lawsuits filed under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) has been steadily increasing.  In 2012, there were 406 new federal FMLA cases filed nationally.  In 2013, that number more than doubled to 992; and, in 2014, there were 1115 FMLA lawsuits filed in federal courts throughout the… Continue Reading

FMLA Leave Requests: Do Employees Need to Specify the Expected Duration of Leave?

Posted in Family Medical Leave Act, Workplace Policies
Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), whether an employee is required to specify the expected duration of leave on a FMLA application depends on whether the leave is categorized as foreseeable or unforeseeable leave. If the FMLA application is for foreseeable leave, the FMLA regulations require that the employee specify the expected duration of… Continue Reading

FMLA Benefits May Be Extended for Same-Sex Spouses

Posted in Family Medical Leave Act
Under current law, an eligible employee may take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for a same-sex spouse only if they reside in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. If the employee lives in a state that does not currently recognize same-sex marriage, however, the employee is not eligible for spousal… Continue Reading

Managing Employee Medical Leave: How Much Leave Is Reasonable?

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Employee Leave Management, Family Medical Leave Act, Workplace Policies
To date, there are few bright line rules to guide employers in determining how much leave is reasonable under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Further, employers sometimes mistakenly assume that if an employee has exhausted Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, then the employee is not entitled to additional leave under the ADA. However,… Continue Reading

Paternity Leave Up To Bat: What Employers Should Know To Avoid Striking Out

Posted in Employee Leave Management, Family Medical Leave Act, Workplace Policies
Paternity leave is back in the spotlight after New York Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy, decided to take his contractually guaranteed three days of paternity leave for the birth of his son—a decision which resulted in his absence from two games, including the season opener. Public criticism of Murphy’s paternity leave sparked a media controversy… Continue Reading

Regulating Intermittent FMLA Leave: May an Employer Request a Doctor’s Note for Each Intermittent FMLA Absence?

Posted in Family Medical Leave Act, Workplace Policies
Intermittent leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) can pose a significant (and often frustrating) administrative and tracking burden on an employer. Further, when attempting to ferret out abuse, an employer has a limited ability to question or control the use of intermittent leave. For example, a recent case (which was an issue of… Continue Reading

What Should an Employer Do When It Suspects an Employee of Intermittent FMLA Abuse?

Posted in Employee Leave Management, Family Medical Leave Act
Employers, does this situation sound all too familiar: that one little elf who has been approved for intermittent FMLA leave and the condition seems to “flare up” at the most suspect times (every Monday and Friday; after a disagreement with a supervisor; or after being assigned to clean out Prancer’s stall).  It’s obvious to you… Continue Reading