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With Broad FMLA “Benefits” Interpretation, Sixth Circuit Faults “No-Fault” Attendance Policy

Employers must carefully navigate Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) pitfalls when administering attendance policies.  As illustrated by the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Dyer v. Ventra Sandusky, LLC, No. 18-3802 (6th Cir. Aug. 8, 2019), one misstep can lead to potential FMLA liability. Background Dyer worked as a technician for automotive supplier Ventra Sandusky.  Dyer … Continue Reading

Oregon Joins Growing Number of States Requiring Paid Family and Medical Leave

Just hours before the constitutionally-mandated end of Oregon’s state legislative session (June 30 at midnight), the Oregon Senate voted to pass HB 2005—which will provide paid family and medical leave to eligible employees beginning January 1, 2023.  HB 2005 now heads to the desk of Governor Kate Brown, who has already said she intends to … Continue Reading

Oregon Enacts Living Donor Leave Law

Earlier this month, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 796 into law—after it passed 28-1 in the state Senate, and unanimously in the House—providing protected leave under the Oregon Family Leave Act (“OFLA”) for employees who miss work in connection with donating a body part, organ, or tissue. The bill expands OFLA’s definition of … Continue Reading

New Maine Law Requires Time Off From Work For Appointments at VA Medical Facilities

State and local leave laws are changing weekly and sometimes even daily! For the second time this month, Maine is adjusting its leave laws.  Employers in Maine will soon be required to provide veterans with time away from work to attend scheduled appointments at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities. If paid leave is available … Continue Reading

Jackpot! New Nevada Laws Provide Additional Benefits for Employees

This week, Governor Steve Sisolak signed a law requiring private employers with 50 or more employees in Nevada to provide 0.01923 hours of paid leave for each hour an employee works. Employees must be permitted to use up to forty hours of available paid leave “without providing a reason to his or her employer.” Nevada’s … Continue Reading

Bonuses, Pay Increases and FMLA Reinstatement

An employee returning from FMLA leave is generally entitled to reinstatement to the same position they held prior to the leave or to a virtually identical position. A common area of confusion is how handle pay increases or other bonuses when an employee returns from FMLA leave. An employee returning from FMLA leave is entitled … Continue Reading

Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave Passes House; To Governor for Signature

Late Friday, the Connecticut House passed a paid family and medical leave bill, which Governor Ned Lamont said he will sign, to provide paid leave to eligible employees and significantly expand employee eligibility and covered reasons for leave.   The major practical effects of the bill, once signed, are: Making 12 weeks of paid leave, funded by a 0.5%  employee payroll tax (effective … Continue Reading

Non-Minneapolis Employers Must Comply With Minneapolis Paid Sick Leave Law, Appeals Court Rules

Minneapolis’ Sick and Safe Ordinance extends to any employee who performs at least 80 hours of work per benefit year in the City of Minneapolis, even if his or her employer is not located within the city’s limits, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has held.  Minnesota Chamber of Commerce v. Minneapolis, No. A18-0771 (Apr. 29, … Continue Reading

Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave: Senate Passes Bill, which Governor Vows to Veto in Current Form

Connecticut employers and employees are focused on Hartford, where last night the Senate passed a paid family and medical leave bill. Governor Ned Lamont said yesterday he would veto the bill. While Governor Lamont supports paid family and medical leave, he said he disagrees with the state-administered system outlined in the bill and wants to explore alternative … Continue Reading

Connecticut Issues Guidance on Pregnancy Accommodation

On April 23, 2019, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (CHRO) issued a Best Practices Bluepaper as guidance for employers with three or more employees facing accommodation requests from employees for pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. The guidance reiterates the current obligations for employers as laid out in the 2017 amendments to the … Continue Reading

The ADA, Occupational Injuries and Light Duty

It is not uncommon for employees who are on leave and receiving workers’ compensation benefits to be released to return to work with light duty restrictions.  To account for these situations, some employers have designated light duty positions reserved for employees who are released to return to work on light duty after an occupational injury. … Continue Reading

Dallas Joins the Fray – Will Paid Sick Leave Prevail in Texas?

Over the next several months, the fate of local paid sick leave laws may well be decided by the Texas legislature. But while lawmakers continue to debate whether Texas cities should be prohibited from establishing their own paid sick time mandates, efforts to expand their reach are marching forward. Last week, the City of Dallas … Continue Reading

Poster Released for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law

Westchester County has released a poster for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law (“WCESLL”).  By July 10, 2019, all employers covered by the law must post the poster in English, Spanish and any other language deemed appropriate by the County of Westchester, in a conspicuous location. To date, Westchester County has only released the … 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 22nd blog in this series, which digs into the FMLA regulations to address discrete mis-steps that can result in legal liability. Not taking into account the interplay of the federal FMLA and “state … Continue Reading

Model Notice of Employee Rights Released for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law

Westchester County has released a model Notice of Employee Rights for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law (“WCESLL”), effective April 10, 2019. According to FAQ’s released simultaneously, starting on April 10, 2019, employers must begin providing eligible new hires with a copy of the law and written notice, which is intended to explain how … Continue Reading

The FMLA, ADA and Overseas Employees

In the global economy, it is not unusual for U.S. multinational companies to have employees working overseas.  Overseas employment arrangements require employers to navigate a variety of complex legal issues – some of them leave related. For example, what happens if an overseas employee has a medical condition that causes them to miss work? The … Continue Reading

Village of Glenview Latest Municipality to Opt Back In to the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance

On February 7, 2019, the Village of Glenview, Illinois, voted to opt back in to the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance, effective July 1, 2019. In doing so, Glenview joins the growing list of suburban municipalities to reconsider their previous opt-outs, including Wilmette, Northbrook, and Western Springs. (Of note, Glenview also voted to opt … Continue Reading

What Did She Say? Dispute Over Content of Voicemails Requires Jury Trial on FMLA Claims

An employee seeking the protection of FMLA leave must give adequate and timely notice of the need for leave.  In situations where the leave is due to a qualifying reason for which the employer previously provided the employee FMLA leave, the employee must specifically reference either the qualifying reason for leave or the need for … Continue Reading

How the Government Shutdown Impacts Employee Leave Requests

As of midnight December 21, 2018, 380,000 federal employees were placed on furlough.  An additional 420,000 are considered “excepted” and have continued working without pay.  Federal employers and employees should be aware of how the government shutdown impacts both paid time off requests as well as approved FMLA leaves. According to the Office of Personnel … Continue Reading

Austin Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law Preempted by Texas Minimum Wage Act, Third Court of Appeals Holds

On November 16, 2018, the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals declared Austin’s paid sick and safe leave ordinance unconstitutional. Specifically, the court held the ordinance is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act and is, therefore, unconstitutional. The Austin ordinance has been under attack since its inception. The Travis County District Court originally denied a temporary … Continue Reading

What Do You Mean I Can’t Require that an Employee Use PTO During FMLA Leave?

Since the FMLA came into existence, employers have been advised, where possible, to run FMLA concurrently with other leaves. Doing so prevents leave stacking. When reviewing FMLA policies, a common oversight we see is how employers handle the use of paid leave during FMLA. While the policies require employees to use earned vacation, sick or … Continue Reading

FMLA Leave for Chronic Health Conditions Requires Proof of Periodic Doctor’s Visits

When an employee takes medical leave, treatment by a healthcare provider is often assumed, and the frequency of doctor’s visits is rarely scrutinized.  The Pennsylvania federal court’s recent decision in Watkins v. Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh alerts us that this is not always a wise approach. In evaluating FMLA leave entitlements, verifying … Continue Reading
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