Employment Law Alert

Employment Law Alert

News and Updates on Employment Law

Tag Archives: Leave

New York State Enacts a New Paid Family Leave Law

Posted in Family Leave
New York State recently passed the Paid Family Leave Benefits Law, which is among the strongest and most comprehensive leave statutes in the country. The new law amends the State’s current disability law, and imposes obligations on employers beginning in 2018. Unlike the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the NY law will provide both protected leave and paid benefits during the leave. The new law covers employers in the for-profit sector, with at least one employee, along with certain other employers in the public and not-for-profit sectors.… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance May Be Put On Permanent Bed Rest but Trenton’s Ordinance Survives Court Challenge

Posted in Employee Benefits
In response to the growing trend of municipalities enacting paid sick leave ordinances, business groups are trying to fight back. On April 15, 2015, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill that would overturn Philadelphia’s new paid sick leave law. In New Jersey, however, a court challenge to Trenton’s paid sick leave ordinance has hit a roadblock.… Continue Reading

DOL Extends FMLA Spousal Care Leave Rights to Same-Sex Spouses

Posted in Family Leave
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued a Final Rule revising the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to include same-sex spouses for purposes of FMLA leave, regardless of the couple’s state of residence. Under the prior FMLA regulations, whether or not an employee had a “spouse” was determined by the law of the state where the employee resided. Notably, however, the Final Rule does not expand the definition of “spouse” to include domestic partners. Rather, only employees who are legally married are covered under the new regulations. The Final Rule takes effect on March 27, 2015.… Continue Reading

Paid Sick Leave is Gaining Momentum in New Jersey

Posted in Employee Benefits
Trenton and Montclair became the latest New Jersey municipalities to approve paid sick leave laws in 2014. The issue was put before voters on Election Day and was approved by a comfortable margin in both cities. The Trenton and Montclair ordinances, which will take effect on March 4, 2015, are part of a growing trend in the state of New Jersey which began last year when Jersey City became the first municipality in the State to pass such a law. In early 2014, Newark followed suit with a similar law. Thereafter, Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, and Irvington have all passed paid sick leave laws scheduled to take effect between December 31, 2014 and January 7, 2015. In addition, a bill is pending in the New Jersey State Legislature which would, if passed, make paid sick leave a statewide law.… Continue Reading

Newark City Council Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Posted in Employee Benefits
On January 28, 2014, the Newark, New Jersey City Council passed a paid sick leave ordinance making it the second New Jersey municipality ─ along with Jersey City ─ to pass such a law. The Newark ordinance, which takes effect 120 days after its enactment, requires Newark employers of all sizes (with the exception of governmental entities) to provide a minimum number of paid sick leave days to employees.… Continue Reading

Jersey City Ordinance Mandates Paid Sick Leave

Posted in Employee Benefits
On September 25, 2013, the City of Jersey City became the first municipality in New Jersey to pass paid sick leave legislation. City Ordinance 13.097, which takes effect on January 23, 2014, makes Jersey City the seventh U.S. state or municipality to enact legislation mandating paid sick leave. Previously, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland passed similar laws. The District of Columbia and the state of Connecticut have also passed such legislation. The Jersey City ordinance mandates that individuals employed by employers with 10 or more employees accrue 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum accrual of 40 hours. Those individuals employed by employers with less than 10 employees will accrue sick time under the same formula, however it need not be paid.… Continue Reading

Employee’s Facebook Posting Sinks Her FMLA Discrimination and Retaliation Claims

Posted in Disability, Family Leave
A Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") plaintiff's leave was proven fraudulent through her Facebook postings, resulting in summary judgment for her employer, dismissing her complaint. The Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan concluded that the employer's reason for her termination was legitimate and unrelated to her exercise of FMLA rights.… Continue Reading

John C. Romeo and Kelly Ann Bird to Speak at Upcoming NJBIA Employment Seminars

Posted in Uncategorized
John C. Romeo and Kelly Ann Bird, Directors in the Gibbons Employment & Labor Law Department, will be speaking at upcoming programs that are part of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association's Employment Seminar Series. John C. Romeo, will speak at the event, "HR101: An Employment Law and HR Primer," on the "Review of Key Employment Laws," on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, at Forsgate Country Club. On Friday, November 30, 2012, Kelly Ann Bird will speak at the "How to Comply with State & Federal Family & Disability Leave Laws" program at the Wilshire Grand Hotel.… Continue Reading

Third Circuit Rules That Employers Need Not Accommodate Work Restrictions at End of FMLA Leave

Posted in Family Leave
Are employers required to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee to facilitate his or her return to the same or equivalent position at the conclusion of an FMLA leave? According to a recent decision from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the answer is no, provided the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his job position. The case, Macfarlan v. Ivy Hill, provides important guidance for employers who must make such determinations upon an employee's return from FMLA-protected leave.… Continue Reading

New Updated FMLA Forms Issued by DOL

Posted in Family Leave
Without any substantive changes, new updated model Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms have been issued by the United States Department of Labor (DOL) website and are available on the DOL website (in the section for Wage and Hour Division Forms). Employers using the former model FMLA forms on the DOL website should replace their prior versions, which expired on December 31, 201, with the new versions. Employers using their own FMLA forms should include appropriate language to prevent employee disclosure of genetic information prohibited by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). Such language should generally be included in the employer's FMLA policies and other employee communications. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations suggest a "safe harbor" notice to include in such communications to effectively lessen the chance of an inappropriate disclosure of genetic information.… Continue Reading

Recent New Jersey Appellate Division Case Reminds Employers to Carefully Draft Written Communications to Employees Regarding Leaves of Absence

Posted in Family Leave
The New Jersey Appellate Division's recent decision in Lapidoth v. Telcordia Techs., Inc., 2011 N.J. Super. LEXIS 103 (App. Div. June 9, 2011) serves as an important reminder that an employer must exercise care in communications with employees regarding leaves of absence to avoid unintended contractual obligations, even when the employer has complied with its statutory obligations.… Continue Reading

United States Supreme Court Decides “Cat’s Paw” Theory of Liability in Staub v. Proctor Hospital

Posted in Discrimination
It is now clear that an employer may be held liable for unlawful discrimination when it unwittingly terminates an employee based on a supervisor's recommendation or false allegations motivated by discriminatory animus. The United States Supreme Court, in Staub v. Proctor Hospital, No. 09-400, 562 U.S. _(March 1, 2011), resolved a split in the lower courts over the reach of the so-called "cat's paw" theory of liability, which gets its name from the 17th century fable by French poet Jean de La Fontaine. In the fable, a monkey convinces a cat to remove chestnuts from a fire. The cat complies, pulling out the chestnuts one at a time, burning its paw in the process, as the monkey feasts on the chestnuts. In the employment context, the "cat's paw" refers to a situation in which a biased subordinate employee, who lacks decision-making authority, uses the final decisionmaker as a dupe to trigger a discriminatory employment action. In Staub, the Court held that if the decision to terminate is based in whole or in part on the malicious recommendation or false allegations from a supervisor who has discriminatory motives, the employer can be held liable under federal statutes that prohibit employment discrimination.… Continue Reading

Bereavement Leave Obligations Extended to Same-Sex Partners in New York

Posted in Employee Benefits
New York State employers who extend funeral or bereavement leave to employees after the death of a relative must, effective October 29, 2010, provide the same leave after the death of a same-sex committed partner. Although this amendment to the New York Civil Rights Law creates no obligation for employers who do not offer funeral or bereavement leave to any employees, it does require a change for the many New York employers who currently provide such leave to various groups of defined relatives, but not to same-sex committed partners. Those policies and related practices should be revised promptly to comply with the new law. Additionally, while the new law does not apply to employers outside New York State, they may want to consider similar revisions for business reasons.… Continue Reading