Category Archives: FMLA

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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

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

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

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

Get Ready for Increased On-Site FMLA Compliance Investigations

The U.S. Department of Labor FMLA Branch Chief Helen Applewhaite recently announced the agencies’ renewed focus on conducting more on-site compliance investigations (“pivotal year for FMLA enforcement”). The DOL’s stated intent is two-fold: (1) to increase its investigators’ access to information; and (2) save time by reviewing the employer’s documents and interviewing employees on-site. A … Continue reading this entry

If it Passes, What Exactly Will the Proposed FMLA Enhancement Act Enhance?

On Feb. 5, 2014, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) reintroduced a Bill, that if passed, would extend both who is covered and what is covered under the Federal and Medical Leave Act. Who:  Extending leave protections under the FMLA to employers with 25 or more employees, a lower threshold than the current 50 or more employee … Continue reading this entry

New Definition of “Spouse” would Expand FMLA Benefits to More Same-Sex Married Couples

Two weeks ago, the Secretary of Labor announced a proposed rule that would extend the benefits and protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to employees in same-sex marriages, regardless of where they live. Currently, only spouses in a same-sex marriage who live in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage are entitled to … Continue reading this entry

Federal Court Rules Temp-to-Hire Employee's Hours Before and After Hire Must be Counted in Determining FMLA Eligibility

The interplay between staffing agencies and client companies continues to be a common source of litigation, including an increase in cases under the Family and Medical Leave Act (the “FMLA”).   Following on the heels of a Fifth Circuit ruling clarifying the FMLA obligations allocated to each of the staffing agency and client company, an Oklahoma … Continue reading this entry

Fifth Circuit Clarifies FMLA Obligations Relating to Staffing Agency Employees

Companies use temporary or leased employees for many reasons—to assist with seasonal work or temporary projects, to afford flexibility with a workload that might vary by customer demands, and sometimes in an effort to avoid responsibilities or liability that might result from an employment relationship.  This strategy can be effective in some—but not all—situations.  While … Continue reading this entry

Tackling FMLA Abuse – Recent Decision Offers Textbook Guidance

You’ve seen the pattern before – suspicious use of intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) – Fridays and Mondays, leave taken around holidays, and leave taken in connection with already approved vacation. What is the best way to determine whether the employee is actually using FMLA for its intended purpose? A … Continue reading this entry

True or False: “I’m on FMLA; You Can’t Fire Me!”

Oftentimes, employees (and occasionally employers) mistakenly believe that they cannot be terminated while on protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). This is of course not accurate, but it is important to note that terminations occurring either while an employee is on leave or after returning from leave often generate knee-jerk reactions … Continue reading this entry