Category Archives: Family and Medical Leave Act

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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

ADA
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

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

FMLA Eligible or Not Eligible … That Is the Question

The easiest part of handling a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) situation is determining at the outset whether the employee is eligible for FMLA protections, right? Not so fast. Recent cases have added the seemingly simple eligibility determination to the rotisserie of FMLA issues on which employees may baste employers. An employee is eligible … Continue reading this entry

New FMLA Forms Are Here Just in Time for Summer!

You can sleep a little easier tonight — you no longer have to worry about using expired Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) forms. On May 27, 2015, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) quietly updated its FMLA forms with a new expiration date of May 31, 2018. In addition to the … Continue reading this entry

”Smoking Gun” Comments Serve as an Important Reminder of the ADA’s Protection Against Associational Discrimination

Most employers are well aware that the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA) protects qualified individuals with disabilities against discrimination on the basis of disability and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, if those accommodations do not pose an undue hardship for the employer. However, a recent court decision reminds employers that even individuals … Continue reading this entry

Department of Labor Announces Expansion of FMLA Rights to Same-Sex Couples

The United States Department of Labor issued a groundbreaking rule change last week, granting couples in legal, same-sex marriages the same rights as those in opposite-sex marriages under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA, which was enacted in 1993, allows eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons, … Continue reading this entry

Employee Handbook Mistakes Can Come Back to Bite Employers

Employer
Courts often conclude that absent appropriate disclaimer language, statements in employee handbooks are “promises” to employees, binding employers to abide by these promises in their dealings with employees. However, a recent case provides an important reminder to employers that what they say, as well as what they do not say, in their employee handbooks can … Continue reading this entry

Multiple Requests for Extension of Medical Leave – Three Strikes and the Employee Is Not Out!

A recent Americans with Disabilities Act case is a reminder the employers must proceed carefully before denying repeated requests for extensions of medical leave by an employee. In the case, the employer had a “personal leave” policy that allowed for up to two additional 30-day leaves of absence after Family and Medical Leave Act leave … Continue reading this entry

ERISA’s “Overlapping Fields of Fire” Preempt Wisconsin’s Family and Medical Leave Act

Wisconsin’s Family and Medical Leave Act (“WFMLA”), requires that employers allow employees six weeks of unpaid leave following “[t]he birth of an employee’s natural child,” and that employers allow an employee to substitute “paid or unpaid leave of any other type provided by the employer” for the unpaid leave provided by the law. However, in … Continue reading this entry

FMLA Stands for "Family and Medical Leave Avalanche"

We noted last year that 20 years after the original passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the Department of Labor issued a survey report lauding the effectiveness of the law and the positive impact it has had on the American workforce. One of the most interesting points from that survey report was the assertion … Continue reading this entry

EEOC Effectively Declares Pregnancy a "Disability" Requiring Reasonable Accommodation — Even When the Pregnant Employee Is Not Disabled

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recently declared that pregnancy alone, even without other underlying medical conditions, may require employer accommodations according to recent guidance released July 14, 2014. In a controversial decision splitting the commissioners 3-2, the EEOC broadcast a specific focus on pregnancy-related discrimination due to a continued uptick in charges and complaints over … Continue reading this entry

“No Harm, No Foul” and the FMLA Still Means “Be Diligent”

We routinely remind employers about the importance of dotting every “I” and crossing every “T” with their Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) paperwork because, if they do not, employees can attempt to make a mess over technically deficient eligibility and designation notice arrivals and try to assert liability claims in litigation over such technical … Continue reading this entry

It’s Catching: Is the Spread of Paid Sick Leave Laws Making Employers Ill?

As winter has turned to spring, and flu season has turned to allergy season, have your employees been accruing government-mandated paid sick leave? They might be if they happen to work in New York City (NYC), Newark, or Connecticut or other localities where employers are increasingly being required to provide paid sick leave to employees. … Continue reading this entry

Using “Light Duty” Lightly – and Properly

Employers often use the term “light duty” in a variety of employment contexts from job creation for occupationally injured employees to job duty modification to accommodate employee medical restrictions. However, employers should exercise care in their policies and practices regarding light duty jobs or assignments. Otherwise, they may find themselves unintentionally establishing unfavorable precedent for … Continue reading this entry

Employers: Limit FMLA Liability by Making Them Pick Only One From the Menu

A recent federal appellate court decision illustrates how employees may limit their rights by affirmatively choosing to designate time-off as vacation time rather than as leave protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In the recent case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a jury’s verdict in favor … Continue reading this entry