Category Archives: Eligibility

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Butt Implants, Male Breast Reductions Among Top Plastic Surgery Trends. But Are These Procedures Protected by FMLA?

Apparently, Kim Kardashian isn’t the only one whose derrière seems to have transformed over the years. According to data provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and published in a number of news outlets, butt implants and male breast reduction are now among the fastest-growing types of plastic surgery in the United States. According to the … Continue Reading

Use The "Rolling" Method to Calculate FMLA Leave! This Employer Learned the Hard Way

Every once in awhile, I find myself counseling an employer with either no FMLA policy or one completely lacking any meaningful details. Often, these policies fail to include key provisions to protect against liability. Take, for instance, the FMLA 12-month period. As employers are aware, an otherwise eligible employee is entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA … Continue Reading

Now That Same-Sex Marriage is a Constitutional Right, How Do Employers Administer FMLA Leave?

On Friday, June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. So, I’ll give you one guess as to the topic of my blog post today. How is the FMLA Impacted by the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage? Earlier this year, the … Continue Reading

DOL Issues Final Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights to Same-Sex Couples: Here's Everything Employers Need to Know

The Department of Labor has issued a final rule that will allow an employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes their marital status.  This rule change will impact the manner in which employers administer FMLA leave, so I’ll quickly get down to the … Continue Reading

Employer's Poorly Drafted FMLA Policy Allows Employee to Advance FMLA Claim (That Should Have Never Seen the Light of Day)

If this story won’t cause you bring your FMLA policy up to snuff, then I’ve lost all hope. FMLA’s Basic Premise An employee is eligible for FMLA leave if he meets three basic criteria: He has been employed by a covered employer for 12 months; He has worked 1,250 hours worked during the 12-month period … Continue Reading

Now This is a Headache! Employee Terminated for Migraine Headaches Can Advance FMLA Claim

In the cold, sadistic world that is the FMLA, the Department of Labor tells us that ordinary, run-of-the-mill headaches (a/k/a “non-migraine” headaches) are not covered by the FMLA.  Migraine headaches, on the other hand, are covered. When I try to explain the difference in FMLA training sessions for employers, they often look at me like … Continue Reading

Does an Employer Have an Obligation to Provide Accommodations to Pregnant Employees? Don't Follow This Employer's Lead

Ena Wages served as a property manager for one of several apartment complexes owned by Stuart Management Corp.  She began her employment on November 17, 2008, and this is significant under the FMLA because nearly one year later, on November 13, 2009, Ena’s physician restricted the number hours she could work as a result of … Continue Reading

FMLA FAQ: Can an Employer Force an Employee on FMLA Leave When the Employee Wants to Continue to Work?

Q: This week, one of our employees professed her love to one of her co-workers (who is married) and announced to everyone that they had been dating.  The problem is — it’s not true.  When questioned about it, she continued to insist that she and her colleague had been dating despite clear evidence to the … Continue Reading

How Does the Fall of DOMA Impact the FMLA and Other Employee Benefits?

Unless you’ve been securely wedged under a rock over the past 24 hours, you know that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had established a federal definition of marriage as a legal union only between one man and one woman.   Yesterday, as Justice Anthony Kennedy read … Continue Reading

How Can Congress Improve the FMLA? Let's Count the Ways...

Over the past month, as we recognized the 20th Anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, advocates for employees and employers have been clamoring for changes to the Act.   On one hand, employee advocates are calling for a broad expansion of the FMLA that would allow for paid leave or broader coverage (e.g., … Continue Reading

FMLA Leave for Same-Sex Couples to be Clarified by Supreme Court's DOMA Decision?

This past Friday, the United States Supreme Court announced that it would consider whether the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unlawfully denies benefits to gay and lesbian couples who are married in states that allow such unions.  A Supreme Court decision nullifying DOMA could have wide ranging impacts, including how the Family and Medical Leave … Continue Reading

Hurricane Sandy and the FMLA (Part II): How Do Employers Calculate FMLA Leave When the Workplace Closes Because of the Storm?

Thanks for the great feedback we received on our post earlier this week about Hurricane Sandy’s impact on employers when it comes to issues arising under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  In your feedback, I received several requests to address the following question: If an employer shuts down because of damage related to the … Continue Reading

Hurricane Sandy and the FMLA: Are Your Employees Eligible for Leave During a Natural Disaster?

Our thoughts and prayers are with those on the east coast who are attempting to return to some sense of normalcy in the wake of the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy.  Natural disasters like Sandy raise a host of issues for employers: how do you pay your employees during during suspended operations?  Whether and … Continue Reading

Using "Rolling" Method to Calculate FMLA Leave Almost Always the Best Choice for Employers

There are a number of discussions happening lately about updating handbook provisions and social media policies to ward off a suddenly over-zealous National Labor Relations Board.  And this advice certainly is well taken.  As you review and revise these policies, consider also taking a look at your FMLA policy, and specifically, how you calculate your FMLA … Continue Reading

FMLA FAQ: Must an Employer Designate FMLA Leave When the Employee Does Not Want to Use FMLA Leave, or When the Employee Fails to Mention FMLA?

Q:  One of our employees will be absent for a serious health condition.  However, the employee prefers to use his accrued sick days instead of FMLA leave.  He has enough sick time to cover the absence.  In this situation, can the employee choose not to take FMLA leave, either because he has not specifically asked … Continue Reading

Illinois Civil Union Partners Soon May Enjoy Greater Leave Rights Than Married Couples Under a Newly Proposed Illinois Family Medical Leave Act

Illinois currently has no equivalent of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.  Soon, it may.  And unlike the FMLA, the proposed Illinois leave law would allow civil union partners the same leave entitlements currently enjoyed by married couples.  Notably, because of the conflicting parameters of state and federal law, the proposed Illinois Family and … Continue Reading

FMLA FAQ: Can an Employer Deny FMLA Leave to An Employee Who Is Not Yet Eligible to Take Leave?

Q: Can an Employer Deny FMLA Leave to An Employee Who Is Not Yet Eligible to Take Leave? A.  It depends, particularly after a federal appellate court handed down a ruling on this very issue last week. The underlying story is straightforward: On October 5, 2008, Kathryn Pereda began working for Brookdale, which operates senior living facilities … Continue Reading
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