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What Am I Doing Wrong?? Common FMLA Mistakes

“What did I do wrong?” and “Am I doing this correctly?” are frequent questions from clients regarding FMLA administration.  This is the tenth in a series highlighting some of the more common mistakes employers can inadvertently make regarding FMLA administration. Not properly considering treatment for substance abuse as FMLA-qualifying. Substance abuse is a workplace issue … Continue Reading

Employers Should Engage In the Interactive Process Even If They Believe the Employee Is Not Qualified.

Diligent and well informed employers know that it is the best practice to engage in an individualized assessment of a requested accommodation. Sometimes an employer may be tempted to refuse to discuss an accommodation because it doesn’t believe that the request is reasonable or because the employee is not “qualified.” It should resist the temptation. … Continue Reading

Will Employers Be Forced to Accommodate Employees Who Test Positive for Marijuana?

On July 17, 2017 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that under the Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination law an employer may be required to accommodate an employee who is a current user of medical marijuana regardless of the employer’s drug free workplace and drug testing policies.  While this decision is binding only in Massachusetts, it could represent … Continue Reading

Nurse’s Disability Discrimination Claims May Proceed to Trial, New Jersey Supreme Court Rules

A registered nurse employed by a New Jersey health care system for approximately 10 years may proceed to a jury trial with her disability and perceived disability claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the Supreme Court of New Jersey has ruled. Grande v. Saint Clare’s Health Sys., 2017 N.J. LEXIS 746 (July 12, … Continue Reading

San Francisco Passes “Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance”

On June 30, 2017, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed the “Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance” (“Ordinance”), increasing protections for nursing mothers working in San Francisco. The Ordinance becomes effective January 1, 2018, and applies to anyone employed within the “geographic boundaries” of San Francisco.… Continue Reading

Asking Enough But Not Too Much: Medical Certifications for Leaves of Absence Under the FMLA and CFRA

The FMLA and CFRA both permit an employer to require an employee requesting a leave of absence to provide a medical certification, but these laws differ with respect to the information and employer can request about the reasons for an employee’s requested leave. Under the FMLA, an employer is permitted to obtain the following information … Continue Reading

Employer’s Enforcement of Its Call-In Policy Was Reasonable Vis-à-Vis a Disabled Employee

Employers frequently struggle with enforcement of call-in and job abandonment policies when there has been a lack of communication by a disabled employee. In Alejandro v. ST Micro Electronics (N.D. Cal.) 178 F.Supp.3d 850, the court offers a favorable ruling for employers seeking to enforce such a policy respective to a disabled employee who had … Continue Reading

Both the City of San Diego and the State of California “Clarify” Their Sick Leave FAQs

As we recently reported regarding the City of Los Angeles, both the City of San Diego and the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) have updated their “Frequently Asked Questions” (“FAQs”) related to the respective local and state sick leave requirements. Below are some of the more salient points from each.  … Continue Reading

What Am I Doing Wrong?? Common FMLA Mistakes.

“What did I do wrong?” and “Am I doing this correctly?” are frequent questions from clients regarding FMLA administration. This is the seventh in a monthly series highlighting some of the more common mistakes employers can inadvertently make regarding FMLA administration. Forgetting to consider whether an employee is entitled to FMLA leave based on an … Continue Reading

The City of Los Angeles Quietly Updates Its Rules and FAQs Regarding the Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

          The sick leave landscape is constantly evolving, and the City of Los Angeles is no exception to that rule. This past month the City of Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards (“OWS”) revised its rules and regulations (“Revised Rules”) as well the FAQs regarding its Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (the “Ordinance”).  … Continue Reading

Third Circuit: No Direct Evidence Needed for Mixed-Motive Jury Instruction in FMLA Retaliation Cases

A former employee alleges that he was terminated because he exercised his right to take intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. His former employer asserts that his FMLA leave had nothing to do with his termination. Rather, the employer claims, he was let go simply because his position was eliminated. At trial, … Continue Reading

California Adopts Broad Gender-Neutral Bathroom Rules–Signage Rules Expand Beyond ADA Concerns

Effective March 1, California’s Equal Restroom Access Act (ERAA) will require some single-occupancy restrooms to have signs indicating they are gender-neutral. Which Restrooms Does the ERAA Cover in California? The ERAA applies to all single-occupancy restrooms in businesses, government buildings, and places of public accommodation. “Single-occupancy” is defined as a “toilet facility with no more … Continue Reading

The “D” in the ADA Still Exists, Court of Appeals Reminds Us

In 2009, Congress passed the Americans With Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA), unquestionably expanding the definition of a disability under the ADA and, for all practical purposes in most cases, shifting the focus of disability lawsuits in federal court.  Specifically, prior to the ADAAA’s enactment employers routinely argued that the plaintiff-employee’s ADA claim failed right out of the gate because he or … Continue Reading

Employer Comes Up Smelling Like Roses in Reasonable Accommodation Case: Court Reminds Employee That She Can’t Always Get What She Wants

An employer’s failure to provide a fragrance-free work environment does not equate to a failure to provide a reasonable accommodation or an adverse action against an employee, according to the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Alanis v. Metra.   In fact, this case reiterates that employers are not required to provide every accommodation requested … Continue Reading

What Am I Doing Wrong?? Common FMLA Mistakes.

“What did I do wrong?” and “Am I doing this correctly?” are frequent questions from clients regarding FMLA administration. This is the fifth in a monthly series highlighting some of the more common mistakes employers can inadvertently make regarding FMLA administration. Not providing an employee with a sufficient Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities. … Continue Reading

An Employee Fails to Return from Leave As Originally Scheduled—Has That Employee “Voluntarily Resigned”?

What are employers to do if an employee has not provided a doctor’s note to continue his or her leave and the initial end date for that leave has passed? When can employers deem such an employee to have “voluntarily resigned”?  Leticia Bareno v. San Diego Community College District reminds employers that they must scrutinize … Continue Reading

What Am I Doing Wrong?? Common FMLA Mistakes.

  What did I do wrong?” and “Am I doing this correctly?” are frequent questions from clients regarding FMLA administration.  This is the fourth in a monthly series highlighting some of the more common mistakes employers can inadvertently make regarding FMLA administration. Counting FMLA-protected absences against an employee. Accurately tracking or coding FMLA leave is … Continue Reading

Are You Ready? City of Santa Monica’s Sick Leave Provisions Become Effective January 1, 2017

Are you sick of sick leave yet? Beginning on January 1, 2017, the new paid sick leave provisions under Santa Monica City’s recently adopted Minimum Wage and Sick Leave law will go into effect.  Since our California Workplace Law Blog article first outlined key provisions of the law, the ordinance was amended later this year, … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Denies Review of Castro-Ramirez Decision — California Employers Must Consider Leave Accommodation for Employees Caring for Disabled Family Members

We previously reported that the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held that an employer’s denial of accommodation to a nondisabled employee may serve as evidence of association discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Castro Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc. (2016) 2 Cal. App. 5th 1028.  In Castro Ramirez, … Continue Reading

What Am I Doing Wrong? Common FMLA Mistakes.

What did I do wrong?” and “Am I doing this correctly?” are frequent questions from clients regarding FMLA administration.  This is the third in a monthly series highlighting some of the more common mistakes employers can inadvertently make regarding FMLA administration. Failing to restore an employee returning from FMLA leave to an “equivalent position.” When … Continue Reading

CA Revives Former DJ’s Disability and Leave Claims Against Univision Radio

What is a disability? And when are employers on notice to provide employees leave?  These were some of the questions raised in the California Court of Appeals (Second Appellate District) November 15, 2016 decision, Soria v. Univision Radio Los Angeles, Inc. Sofia Soria, a former DJ at Univision Radio Los Angeles Inc. (“Univision”), filed suit … Continue Reading
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