Articles tagged 'FMLA'

HR Basics, HR Technology

How Is Your HR Department Doing Covering Its … Assets?

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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


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


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?

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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


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


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

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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…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Is Light Duty Mandatory to Prevent a Charge of Pregnancy Discrimination?

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By Patricia F. Weisberg

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which has jurisdiction over Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, recently issued an opinion finding that an employer may have discriminated against a pregnant employee who had a 50-pound lifting restriction when it refused to allow her to continue to work in a light duty job during her pregnancy.

The case, Latowski v. Northwoods Nursing Center, involved a certified nursing assistant (CNA) who was employed by a nursing home in Michigan. After the employee became pregnant, her doctor imposed a 50-pound lifting restriction.

When the employee reported for her scheduled shift one evening, she was escorted off the premises and advised she could apply for Family and Medical Leave. The employee, however, refused to use her Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, preferring to save it until after the birth of her child. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Must an Employer Ask If a Disability is Causing Poor Performance?


By Eric B. Meyer

You’ve got an employee with performance issues. Big time!

Initially, you put her on a series of performance improvement plans. But, that doesn’t result in — oh, what’s the word I’m looking for? — improvement.

So, you fire her.

Ah, but here’s the little wrinkle for today’s post. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

More Confusion Coming From California’s Paid Family Leave Act

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By James J. McDonald Jr.

Earlier this year, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law an expansion of the state’s “paid family leave” benefit.

While the new law does not become effective until July 1, 2014, already media outlets have reported that employees will have expanded rights to paid time off from work next year. This is only partially correct and it continues to spread the confusion over what “paid family leave” really means.

Beginning in 2004, California employees who took time off work to care for an ill parent, child, spouse, or domestic partner, or to bond with a newborn or newly-adopted child, could receive up to six weeks of pay through the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD). Read more…