Articles tagged 'FMLA'

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…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Why There Aren’t FMLA Benefits For Some Same-Sex Spouses


By Carmon Harvey

Lovebirds around the country are increasingly gaining the equal right to lawfully enter into wedlock, regardless of the sex of those entering into the union.

But at this point, not all married couples are created equal, at least when it comes to eligibility for FMLA benefits.

In August, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a revised fact sheet providing guidance on FMLA protections for same-sex spouses in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor earlier this year, which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, altered the federal government’s treatment of same-sex marriages, and increased the number of employees to whom employers must make FMLA leave available.

The DOL’s new post-Windsor guidance, however, does not require all employers across the U.S. to provide FMLA benefits to all of their employees in lawful same-sex unions. Read more…

HR News & Trends

What Would a Government Default Mean For Employers?

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By Michael J. Lotito

What was once considered unthinkable is now becoming more of a possibility.

Although the U.S. Senate is reportedly working on a last-minute compromise, the federal government is coming dangerously close to defaulting on its loan obligations, or hitting the “debt ceiling.”

As Politico reports, members of the House of Representatives were close to a deal that would have reopened the federal government – which has been closed since Oct. 1 – until Dec. 15, 2013, and raised the debt ceiling until Feb. 7, 2014.

These measures would have bought Congress more time in which to iron out a more comprehensive budget plan. Read more…

HR Basics

What to Remember When an Employee Goes on FMLA Leave


In business, you need to be ready for anything: unexpected delays, unmet expectations, problems with customers. Sometimes, your employees can become seriously ill, or must care for an ill spouse or child.

There are many good reasons why employees may need time off to care for themselves and their families — hey, life happens. As the employer, you need to know how to handle an employee leave and minimize the impact on your operations.

If you have 50 or more employees, you should already be familiar with the Family Medical Leave Act. If you’re not familiar with it, here are the key points. Read more…