Tag Archives: FMLA

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 25th blog in this series, which digs into the FMLA regulations and related issues to address discrete mis-steps that can result in legal liability. Delaying designation of FMLA-qualifying leave or designating more than … Continue Reading

Employer’s Additional Notice Requirement for Requesting FMLA Leave Dooms Attempt to Dismiss Employee’s Interference Claims

Employees who take FMLA leave may be required to comply with the employer’s usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave. If the employee does not follow these requirements, the employer may delay or deny FMLA-protected leave.  But what happens if the employer’s policy has different notice requirements for FMLA leave than for … Continue Reading

California Extends Paid Family Leave from 6 Weeks to 8 Weeks

Beginning on July 1, 2020, California will extend the maximum duration of Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits from six weeks to eight weeks. Individuals may receive benefits from California’s state disability insurance (SDI) program: To care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or domestic partner. To bond with a minor child … 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

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

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

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. Up until now, the most common mistakes were addressed in this blog. Now that we have hit the twentieth post in this series, we are going to dig a bit deeper into the FMLA regulations to … 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

Another Court Decides That Extended Leave is Not a Reasonable Accommodation

As employers struggle with managing how much, if any, leave is required as an accommodation under the ADA, we are beginning to get more direction from the Courts to guide those decisions. In Easter v. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (E.D. Ark. Oct. 3, 2018) an employee was unable to work after exhausting her FMLA leave but … Continue Reading

Must an Employer Pay for Frequent FMLA Breaks?

Is it compensable time when an employee takes frequent, 15-minute breaks each hour due to the employee’s serious health condition? Today, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) answered this question in a hot-off-the-press opinion letter, verifying that FMLA-covered breaks are not compensable. In today’s opinion letter, the DOL confirmed that frequent, 15-minute breaks taken … 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 twelfth in a series highlighting some of the more common mistakes employers can inadvertently make regarding FMLA administration. Not adequately investigating a potential FMLA abuse situation to put the employer in a stronger … Continue Reading

Prior Entitlement to FMLA Leave Is Not A Free Ticket To Miss Work For Non-FMLA Covered Reasons

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania recently upheld an employer’s decision to terminate an employee under its policy against excessive absenteeism, in spite of the fact that the former employee had previously taken leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), because the absences at issue were not related to … Continue Reading

Timing Is Everything: FMLA Claim Survives Summary Judgment Where Employer Began Auditing Employee’s Records The Day After FMLA Leave Request

Employees requesting, currently taking, or just returning from leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) can be terminated for legitimate reasons that are unrelated to their FMLA leave. This point is exemplified by Jennings v. Univ. of N.C., N.C. Ct. App., Case No. COA16-1031 (July 5, 2017), which was the subject of a … Continue Reading

New Mexico Court Rules Employee Is Entitled To Nationwide Discovery in FMLA Case

On October 10, 2017, Judge Ritter issued the Memorandum Opinion and Order which granted a former employee’s Motion to Compel and held that the former employee was entitled to information from the company’s nationwide offices relating to other employees fired under the company’s 100% healed policy and other FMLA or ADA complaints. Matthew Donlin (“Donlin”) worked as a general manager … Continue Reading

“You Can’t Fire Me, I Just Came Back From FMLA Leave.”

Contrary to apparent popular belief, employees who have recently taken leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) can be terminated for legitimate reasons unrelated to their FMLA leave.  Establishing a non-retaliatory termination in these circumstances can be challenging, however.  The timing of the termination alone can “look” retaliatory, and even a well thought … Continue Reading

Is Crying at Work Sufficient Notice of an FMLA Covered Condition?

It is well established that an employee need not specifically request leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) in order to benefit from the Act’s protections.  Rather, the law requires the employer to take action to notify an employee of FMLA rights when the employer acquires knowledge that an employee’s leave may be … Continue Reading

What Should I Tell Employees on Leave About Their FMLA Usage? Everything!

When it comes to FMLA leave administration, “don’t sweat the details” is rarely a wise axiom.  Details matter.  A lot.  A recent decision by an Illinois federal court reinforces that lesson.  In March 2015, Amanda Dusik contacted her employer, Lutheran Child and Family Services (LCFS), to request time off for knee surgery.  She explained that, … Continue Reading

Are You Coming In Today? An FMLA Intermittent Leave Toolkit

            Intermittent leave continues to present some of the most exasperating FMLA issues. In March, the San Diego-based Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) issued a white paper showing the findings of its annual 2016 Employer Leave Management Survey, which involved 1,132 U.S. employers of all sizes. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), … Continue Reading

Fear of Failure – Terminating Employees with Extensive FMLA and non-FMLA Absences

It’s a scenario that frustrates many employers.  An employee with extensive intermittent FMLA absences, possibly including absences for different covered reasons, is also absent for many unspecified or unprotected reasons which lead to progressive discipline.  The employee’s absences eventually reach the point of warranting termination and the employee does not provide additional medical information to … Continue Reading

Employers Beware: Intermittent FMLA Absences Not Subject to “Proof of Need”

On January 27, 2017, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that provides a cautionary tale to employers about seeking documentation from an employee on intermittent FMLA leave. In Diamond v. Hospice of Florida Keys, Inc., Case No. 15-15716 (11th Circuit, Jan. 27, 217), the Court held that an employer’s request for “proof … Continue Reading

Beware What You Share – Disclosure of Medical Information Results in Retaliation and Interference Claims

A United States District Court in Florida thwarted an employer’s attempt to toss the FMLA claims of an employee who sued after his medical condition was disclosed to co-workers who subsequently made fun of him.  The employee requested FMLA leave after he developed a chronic condition with his genito-urinary system.  The leave request was approved … Continue Reading
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