Category Archives: Family and Medical Leave Act

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Massachusetts Poised to Become the Latest State Offering a Paid Family Leave Program

Family
The Paid Family Leave trend is gathering speed in states around the country. Currently, California, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington have paid family leave programs, as does Washington, D.C. Unlike state and municipal sick leave laws, the paid family leave programs generally are administered by the state, not the employer. Many of … Continue reading this entry

Summer (and with it, summer vacations) is coming!

Summer
As we head into the start of summer and employees begin to request more time off for vacation, this is a great time to review your vacation policies to ensure they are legally compliant and meet business needs. With the exception of certain state or local paid sick leave laws, employees generally do not have … Continue reading this entry

Intermittent FMLA Leave is So Easy to Administer. Yeah, Right!

FMLA
Block FMLA leave has its own challenges. But intermittent FMLA leave can be downright painful – including the fact that intermittent leave claims are the most common type of lawsuit under the FMLA. When employees need to take scheduled time off for an entire day, week, or even month, an employer has more notice and … Continue reading this entry

The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Is Now In Effect: What Employers Need To Know

Family
On April 1, 2018, the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the Act) went into effect, creating several rights and protections for pregnant workers, as well as for workers who have conditions related to pregnancy.  The Act – which applies to employers with six or more employees – affirmatively establishes pregnancy as a protected class under … Continue reading this entry

Trump’s DOL Issues First Opinion Letters

Waivers
Back in January, we reported that the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) was reviving the agency’s practice of issuing opinion letters at the request of employers.  The WHD stopped the practice of issuing opinion letters under the Obama administration back in 2010.  After nearly a decade, the WHD finally issued new opinion … Continue reading this entry

Paid Sick Leave Requirements Beginning to Resemble a Crazy Quilt of Legislation

Sick
The proliferation of paid sick leave (PSL) laws at state and local levels, with differing and sometimes conflicting provisions, presents compliance challenges for multistate employers.  Last week’s article presented a number of items often addressed in a PSL statute or ordinance.  This week, we offer some general policy considerations to assist employers who are confronted … Continue reading this entry

Paid Sick Leave Requirements Driving you Crazy? You Are Not Alone.

Sick
As we have previously reported, the trend of states and jurisdictions enacting paid sick leave (PSL) requirements continues, posing compliance challenges for multistate employers and employers with employees in a both a city and a state with different PSL requirements.… Continue reading this entry

Austin Becomes First Texas City to Mandate Paid Sick Leave

In our previous post, we introduced the city of Austin’s proposed sick leave ordinance, which the city council approved at last week’s meeting. Gardere’s Fred Sultan, a member of the labor and employment group in Austin, provides an update: In the early hours of Feb. 16, Austin became the first city in Texas to require … Continue reading this entry

Happy 25th Birthday, FMLA! 25 Years Later – Where Are We Now?

FMLA
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. On February 5, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the FMLA into law guaranteeing certain employees up to 12 unpaid weeks off of work a year to care for children or ill family members, or to recover from one’s own serious health … Continue reading this entry

Comments on Austin's Proposed Sick Leave Ordinance

With the vote on the proposed sick leave ordinance in Austin coming Feb. 15, we asked Fred Sultan, a member Gardere’s labor and employment group in Austin, on what local employers need to know. Here are Fred’s main takeaways: The City of Austin’s proposed sick-leave ordinance clearly has implications for private employers that do not … Continue reading this entry

Paid Sick Leave Laws are Sweeping the Country: Are You in Compliance?

Sick
Paid sick leave, like paid family leave, is one example of an employment law issue where states are acting without waiting for the federal government.  While former President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing paid sick leave for federal contractors, there is no federal law requiring private sector employers to offer paid sick leave.  Because … Continue reading this entry

Managing the Interplay Between the ADA, FMLA and WC

ADA
The following description may seem quite familiar to those who deal with employee issues on a daily basis. Your employee, who has a physically demanding job on the factory floor, has been out on leave for an injury that he contends is work-related. However, your worker’s compensation insurance carrier has recently denied coverage. Additionally, the … Continue reading this entry

Seventh Circuit Puts the Brakes on Never-ending Leave Under the ADA

Reasonable
Employers everywhere have been repeatedly warned not to automatically terminate employees who have exhausted their Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. Instead, employers should first consider whether the employee might be entitled to some additional leave time as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  But the key question for employers … Continue reading this entry

As If Leave Laws Aren’t Complicated Enough – Don’t Forget That Leave Can Be a Reasonable Accommodation

Leave
The myriad of leave laws and requirements often make employee leave requests an area of confusion, concern and risk for employers. If an employee has a medical condition and must take leave from their job, there may be several laws, benefits and policies that cover the situation.  Many employers are familiar with the Family and … Continue reading this entry

Paid Family Leave: Is Your Company Aware of the Latest Ordinances?

Paid Family Leave
Family values and putting Americans back to work were common refrains during the last political cycle. President Trump spoke about child care and family leave in his January joint address to Congress and Ivanka Trump has met with lawmakers to advance her ideas on the subject. However, given  today’s political climate federal legislation would be … Continue reading this entry

2016: They Say all Politics is Local: Now Employment Law is Too

Paid Family Leave
The end of 2016 is a good time to review and consider a subtle shift in employment law which appears to be gaining momentum. The shift, which may be imperceptible at first, could prove to have lasting impact on employers, especially those who operate in multiple cities and states, and can easily be described as … Continue reading this entry

What Will Happen When the Smoke Clears? Post-Election HR Strategies for 2017 and Beyond

Trade Secrets
The long and contentious presidential campaign is over.  So, now what?  What does President-elect Trump’s victory mean for employers? To explore this question, Foley and Lardner LLP’s Labor & Employment Practice group hosted a webinar titled “What Will Happen When the Smoke Clears? HR Strategies for 2017 and Beyond” on November 10, 2016.  The team … Continue reading this entry

The DOL's New Rx for Federal Contractor Employees

We have reported time and time again on the national trend of mandating paid sick leave for workers. As we noted last March, in a 2015 Executive Order, President Obama directed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to issue regulations requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The DOL issued a final rule … Continue reading this entry

The Second City Adopts Paid Sick Leave Following Burgeoning National Trend

EEOC
Late last month, the Chicago City Council unanimously approved a new paid sick leave ordinance requiring virtually every employer in the city to provide at least some paid time off to employees for sick leave purposes. Cook County’s Board of Commissioners is expected to approve a similar ordinance later this year. Chicago is not forging … Continue reading this entry

Coming Soon to a Federal Contractor Near You: Paid Sick Leave

California Emloyers
On Labor Day, September 7, 2015, President Obama signed Executive Order 13706 – Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors. The Executive Order requires that certain federal contractors and subcontractors (the same ones subject to the increased minimum wage requirements that became effective last year), provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 … Continue reading this entry

Time To Stop And Actually Look At Your Bulletin Boards

Employer
When was the last time you stopped and looked – really, truly looked – at all of the workplace posters on your company’s bulletin boards? Many employers take the Ron Popeil philosophy of workplace posters and “set it, and forget it.” But failing to keep your workplace posters up to date can lead to unnecessary … Continue reading this entry

Seven Policy Provisions To Curb FMLA Abuse

Most employers are aware of, and comply with, the requirement to include information about employees’ rights and obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in employee handbooks or other written policy documents. However, employers often fail to take advantage of the opportunity to use written FMLA policies as a way to combat FMLA … Continue reading this entry

Tips for Avoiding “Convincing Mosaic” of Discrimination

Discrimination
After retaining an employee through two year-long tours of duty in the Middle East and countless military drills amounting to 900 total days of absence, allowing the employee to modify her schedule to account for her military leave, and providing several accommodations when the employee returned from war diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, you might … Continue reading this entry

Avoiding FMLA Interference Claims: Walking a Fine Line Between Permissible and Impermissible Comments

When it comes to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, not all comments are treated equally. Some comments may discourage an employee from using FMLA leave, thereby interfering with the employee’s FMLA rights and creating employer liability. In contrast, other comments from supervisors may be viewed as completely permissible requests and do not violate … Continue reading this entry