Articles tagged 'FMLA'

Benefits, Legal Issues

What Employers Should Know About the Americans With Disabilities Act

ADA

By Sandra S. Moran

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s efforts to enforce the 2008 American with Disabilities Amendments Act have certainly not waned as it continues to challenge leave policies.

Armed with a recent $1.35 million settlement to dismiss a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC (EEOC v. Princeton Healthcare System), employers should evaluate their policies and procedures regarding leave to ensure they comply with the ADA.

This is especially true for health care providers, as the EEOC has shown less tolerance for ADA violations in the health care sector given the fact that they expect health professionals to be particularly understanding of those with disabilities. Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Why You Need an Essential List of Job Functions When Approving FMLA

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By Eric B. Meyer

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, an eligible employee has the right to take up to 12 work weeks of covered leave for, among other things, the employee’s own serious health condition.

The FMLA prohibits an employer from interfering with an employee’s FMLA rights. This includes the right to return to work from leave to the employee’s prior position (or an equivalent one). Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

HR Basics: Here’s the Absolute Wrong Way to Deliver FMLA Notices

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By Eric B. Meyer

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

But, if you send Family and Medical Leave Act paperwork to an employee by first class mail, then you’re asking for trouble.

Did you read the headline and think to yourself, “FMLA notice? You mean there’s a notice? You mean, like in our handbook, right?” Read more…

HR Basics, HR Technology

How Is Your HR Department Doing Covering Its … Assets?

© Agb - Fotolia.com

HR departments are the sentries of the office, with access to sensitive personnel records such as health information, I-9 documents as well as salary details, records that can take up loads of file cabinet space, and not to mention, archived data that is located off site.

But what If you suddenly find yourself asking these questions:

  • Is our vast personnel (past and present) data secure?
  • How much time is paper-management costing us? Read more…
HR Basics, Legal Issues

Why Communications Are Critical During an FMLA Leave

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By Eric B. Meyer

How many times has an employee provided you with an incomplete Family and Medical Leave Act certification? Oh, I don’t know, maybe a missing return date…

If the FMLA leave is foreseeable, then the employee must provide the employer with the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. However, where the FMLA leave is unforeseeable — think, car crash — then that information can wait if the employee herself doesn’t know her return date.

But that doesn’t mean you — yeah, you employer — should let it go. Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Technical FMLA Violations: No Harm, No Foul, No Issue For the Employer

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Sometimes employers do win in court, even if they’re in technical violation of the law.

One employer’s FMLA violation wasn’t enough to lose a lawsuit. Many claims involving the Family and Medical Leave Act are tied to the timeliness of notices.

The regulations are clear and specific for the maximum and minimum amount of time to send an employee notices relating to their FMLA claim. Employees have their own time requirements to perform such acts as returning medical certifications. This does not mean that all is lost for either party when a deadline is missed, if the required act is completed. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Are You Getting Tripped Up by Local Employee Ordinances?

Photo by Dreamstime

The National Football League’s longstanding Super Bowl ticket distribution system recently got a legal penalty flag in the form of a consumer lawsuit based on New Jersey state law.

One New Jersey fan resented having to spend $4000 for two tickets in the upper nosebleed section for this month’s Super Bowl and contacted an attorney. Under the NFL ticket distribution scheme, 99 percent of the tickets are pre-committed to the teams, media and sponsors, while loyal fans with no special connections get to fight over the remaining 1 percent of available tickets.

However, this disgruntled fan noted that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act prohibits withholding of more than 5 percent of available tickets for any public event. It appears the NFL’s team of lawyers missed a local law that could end up as a multi-million dollar penalty on the ticket play. The suit is still pending. Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Yes, Employers Can’t Require a Note for Each Intermittent FMLA Absence

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By Eric B. Meyer

Those four-letter federal employment statutes — FMLA and FLSA — can be a real pain in the rear,  am I right?

Today’s let’s focus on a major employer pitfall: intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The FMLA regulations define intermittent leave this way: Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Appeals Court: A Vegas Trip Can Be Considered “Care” Under the FMLA

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By Eric B. Meyer

Back in 2012, I blogged here about an employee who took her mother to Las Vegas on a vacation.

The two ladies spent time playing slots, shopping on The Strip, people-watching, and dining at restaurants. The mother had terminal cancer, but had no specific plans to seek medical treatment in Las Vegas and was never hospitalized or treated by a physician.

When the employee returned to work, she soon became a former employee, immediately terminated for what her employer determined to be unauthorized absences.

The employee then sued for violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

A Cautionary Tale: Jumping to Conclusions About Sleeping on the Job

Photo by istockphoto.com.

By Carolyn A. Pellegrini

I previously cautioned employers about sending employees packing when they are found sleeping on the job due to the possibility that the employee’s catnap is disability-related.

I’m sure some readers thought, “yeah, like that situation would ever happen in real life.”

Well, it did – and it does not look good for the employer. Read more…