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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
By Eric B. Meyer
In that employee handbook of yours should be a page — maybe a few lines — on an employee’s responsibility to notify you if they are going to miss work. You know what I mean — who to call, when to call, that kind of stuff.
A recent case from the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Cincinnati reaffirms that employees need not relax these rules — even when the employee is seeking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
In White v. Dana Light Axle Manufacturing, the employer had a simple rule: when you’re going to be out, call it in. The plaintiff, who needed FMLA leave for a hernia surgery, assumed that because he had previously met with the employer in person to discuss his upcoming hernia surgery, he didn’t need to later call in his absences. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
Do you have 50 or more employees working with 75 miles of one another?
If you do, check out the United States Department of Labor‘s revised Fact Sheet #28F: Qualifying Reasons for Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on same-sex marriage, the Labor Department updated the definition of spouse: Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer must make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an individual unless the employer can show that doing so how cause it undue hardship.
Generally, an employee will initiate the process by advising her employer that she is disabled and needs an accommodation to perform the essential functions of her job. What then ensues is an interactive dialogue in which both sides work together in good faith to decide on what that accommodation may be.
But here’s the rub: The accommodation need only be reasonable; not the employee’s first choice. Read more…
By Callan Carter and Michelle Anderson
As the 2012 term of the U.S. Supreme Court comes to a close, the Justices left the most politically and emotionally charged decisions for last.
Today (June 26) the Court handed down its decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor. A companion case challenging California’s Proposition 8 was remanded to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit for lack of standing by the proponents of the law in Hollingsworth v. Perry.
While the political and cultural impact of the decisions will be felt nationwide, there will also be some direct effects felt by employers. Read more…
Yesterday, we chronicled the U.S. Supreme Court’s major employment law rulings so far this year.
Today, we’ll focus on all the other significant developments in as few words as humanly possible.