LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
When the FMLA Does Not Apply: Making the Hard Decision the Right Way

Imagine you have 40 employees and operate a vocational training school. One of your employees who has worked with you for a year advises you that her son needs a kidney transplant; that she is a match as a donor; and that she would like a leave to undergo surgery. She said the doctors have told her that...

USERRA Requires Employer to Provide Returning Employee Equivalent Amount of Pay Rather than Equivalent Rate of Pay

In a case of first impression, the United States District Court for the Second Circuit recently held that the law requires an employer to pay an employee returning from military service to a commission-based job the same total amount of pay he or she received prior to activation- the employer violates...

Employer Alert: FMLA for Domestic Violence Victims

Last week, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) reintroduced the Domestic Violence Leave Act , which expands paid leave options for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. Details of the Domestic Violence Leave Act Here is a brief summary of the act, courtesy of this press release from Rep...

Winning the Battle but Losing the War in FMLA Cases

The FMLA allows for two different theories of recovery-interference and retaliation. Interference is when an employer denies an FMLA benefit to which an employee is entitled and of which the employee provided notice. Retaliation is when an employee's use of a protected FMLA right causes an employer's...

Physician, Heal Thyself! Good Lessons For Employers from AMA Case

It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others. In any event, that must be what the American Medical Association is thinking. The organization took it on the chin this week in a case involving the Family and Medical Leave Act. The case is well worth a post...

What You Need To Know About Missing Work Due to Illness

Know your employer's sick leave policy. Most employers require that you call in as soon as you know you won't make it. No law requires paid sick leave. Family and Medical Leave: applies if you have a serious medical condition and need several days off, or need intermittent leave for...

Supervisors Could Be Personally Liable for Leave Interference

by Phyllis Katz In a case decided in late August, Weth v O'Leary , a federal court in Virginia sent a wake-up call to all public employer supervisors when it held that the Treasurer of Arlington County could be held personally liable for interfering with the rights of an employee who was on...

Reminder: Include GINA "Safe Harbor" Language in FMLA Forms

Employers with 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, including joint employers and successors to covered employers, must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"). The FMLA requires covered employers to comply with various notification...

Ouch, That Hurts! Supervisors May Be Liable for FMLA Violations

In this case of first impression in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers PA, NJ, DE, and USVI, the court ruled that a supervisor in a public agency may be subject to personal liability under the Family and Medical Leave Act . The court further emphasized that there is "no reason...

The FMLA and the Honest Belief Rule: Monitoring Leave of Absence Abuse

Last week, I discussed the bounds of the "honest belief rule" as a defense to a discrimination claim. Yesterday, in Seeger v. Cincinnati Bell Telephone Co. [pdf] , [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ]the 6th Circuit used that same defense to affirm...

VanDeusen on Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals

In Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Fourth Circuit joined five other appellate courts in holding that the self-care provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act does not apply to the states because Congress did...

Horseshoes, hand grenades and....FMLA eligibility?

And here I thought close only counted in the first two... Who knew that close enough is good enough under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when meeting the 1,250-hour eligibility requirement? Apparently, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in this recent decision . In Donnelly v. Greenburgh...

Is "casual conversation" of a parent's health enough to trigger FMLA?

Last month, in this post , I addressed a recent opinion in which the court held that the words "Emergency Room," when uttered by an employee to his employer are enough to put the employer on notice -- at least initially -- that the employee needs leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act...

No call, no show, no FMLA

Just because an employee makes a request for FMLA leave does not excuse an employee from complying with an employer's attendance policies. According to section 825.302(d) the FMLA's regulations : An employer may require an employee to comply with the employer's usual and customary notice...

DOL Issues Guidance on FMLA for Adult Children

Most people know that FMLA covers leave to care for a son or daughter who is under 18 and has a serious health condition. But, did you know that FMLA also covers a child who is "18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability?" Last week...

Employer's Bane: Unpredictable FMLA Leave. Is There a Solution?

Employers, has this ever happened to you? An employee in a critical-but-inflexible position -- say, a customer service representative -- asks for "intermittent" leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. If the intermittent time off is "scheduled," it's usually not too...

FMLA Compliance Is Not as Easy as the DOL Says [Poll Results]

In celebration of the FMLA's 20th anniversary, the Department of Labor released the results of a survey of employers on their experiences managing the statute. According to the DOL, " employers generally find it easy to comply with the law , and ... the vast majority of employers, 91 percent...

Posting Vacation Pics on Facebook While on FMLA Is a Bad Idea

The FMLA turned 20 last week and there has been a flurry of articles and posts discussing how the FMLA has changed the workplace, whether it imposes too high of a burden on employers, and predicting how it will likely continue to evolve. Academic commentary aside, though, we all know that the FMLA...

It's Time to Fix the Family and Medical Leave Act -- Here Are Some Suggestions

Dear Congressperson: I know you are busy, but I am hoping you can take a few minutes out of your sequester stuff to help with the Family and Medical Leave Act, as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, as amended again by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year...

Family and Medical Leave Act Amendments May Impact Company Policies

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policies have been the subject of many changes over the past several years. The FMLA entitles an eligible employee to take up to 12 weeks (and in some situations 26 weeks) of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for a qualifying reason. The addition of the military...