Category: Family Leave

Windsor Decision Brings Equal Benefits to Some Same-Sex Couples and Compliance Concerns to Employers 0

Windsor Decision Brings Equal Benefits to Some Same-Sex Couples and Compliance Concerns to Employers

The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in United States v. Windsor, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act provision limiting the federal definition of marriage to legal unions between one man and one woman, has left employers and employees alike scratching their heads regarding what the ruling means for family and medical leaves and employee benefits. Will compliance with Windsor require a bit more work for in-house counsel and human resources professionals? In the short term, yes. And given the likelihood of further changes in state marriage laws and federal agency guidance on numerous issues stemming from the Windsor ruling, continued monitoring and future adjustments are to be expected. But when the full impact of the Windsor decision shakes out, the end result should be equal treatment of same-sex couples with regard to leaves and employee benefits and fewer administrative burdens for companies in managing these benefits – changes that should be welcome to same-sex couples and employers alike.

Employee’s Facebook Posting Sinks Her FMLA Discrimination and Retaliation Claims 0

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

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.

Amendments to FMLA Mean Changes to Military Leave Provisions, Forms and Postings 0

Amendments to FMLA Mean Changes to Military Leave Provisions, Forms and Postings

On February 6, 2013, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) published final regulations that amend the Family and Medical Leave Act’s (“FMLA”) military leave provisions and eligibility requirements for pilots and flight crews. Other changes impacting the minimum increments of time allowable for measuring FMLA leave and recordkeeping requirements are also part of the final regulations. The new regulations take effect on March 8, 2013, giving employers only a few weeks to ensure that their policies and forms are updated.

Third Circuit Rules That Employers Need Not Accommodate Work Restrictions at End of FMLA Leave 0

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

New Updated FMLA Forms Issued by DOL 0

New Updated FMLA Forms Issued by DOL

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.

Supervisor Can Be Held Liable Individually Under FMLA, Third Circuit Holds 0

Supervisor Can Be Held Liable Individually Under FMLA, Third Circuit Holds

In a case of first impression, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a supervisor may be individually liable for violating the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). While noting that individual liability is not recognized in some Circuit Courts, the Third Circuit in Haybarger v. Lawrence County Adult Probation and Parole reached a contrary conclusion.

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Proposed Rules for Military FMLA 0

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Proposed Rules for Military FMLA

On Monday, January 28, 2012 the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it would publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing statutory amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provisions concerning military family leave and flight crew eligibility. The proposed rules will be published in the Federal Register and interested parties may submit written comments within a defined period of time, which has not yet been specified.

Failure to Notify Employee of FMLA Rights Prevents Dismissal of FMLA and Disability Retaliation Claims According to NJ District Court 0

Failure to Notify Employee of FMLA Rights Prevents Dismissal of FMLA and Disability Retaliation Claims According to NJ District Court

The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), which, among other things, affords eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the employee’s own serious medical condition and reinstatement to the employee’s former or equivalent position, includes stringent notice obligations for employers. A New Jersey District Court recently reinforced the importance of complying with the statute’s notice requirements. In Antone v. Nobel Learning Communities, Inc., the court denied the defendant employer’s motion to dismiss, rejecting its argument that the employee was not protected by the FMLA when she was terminated more than 12 weeks after she commenced leave because the employer failed to provide the requisite FMLA information to the employee. The Court similarly denied the employer’s motion to dismiss disability retaliation claims based on improper notification required by the FMLA.

Recent New Jersey Appellate Division Case Reminds Employers to Carefully Draft Written Communications to Employees Regarding Leaves of Absence 0

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

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.

Recent District of New Jersey Decision Reinforces Need for Common Sense in Responding to Employee Requests for Family and Medical Leave 0

Recent District of New Jersey Decision Reinforces Need for Common Sense in Responding to Employee Requests for Family and Medical Leave

The recent District of New Jersey decision in Conteh v. Francis E. Parker Memorial Home, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41360 (D.N.J. April 15, 2011) serves as a valuable reminder for employers that the exercise of basic common sense in responding to employee requests for family and medical leave can go a long way toward preventing litigation.