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Flexible work time

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Employers Shouldn't Strike Out on Leave for New Dads
"The criticism that Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy has drawn ... after heading to Florida for his son's birth, and the backlash that criticism inspired, should serve as a reminder for employers that despite any socially entrenched aversion to paternity leave that may exist, laws such as the [FMLA] -- and possibly Title VII -- protect new dads' rights to take time off ... But offering some paid time off for new dads isn't a silver bullet, because a parental leave policy that treats men and women differently could inspire a worker to bring a private suit or even catch the attention of the [EEOC]." (Mintz Levin, via Law360)
The Push for Mandatory Paid-Sick Leave
"New York is the latest city to implement a mandatory paid-sick-leave law. As support for such legislation grows around the country, HR professionals everywhere may want to start thinking about what their organizations would need to do in order to comply should such laws take effect in their areas." (Human Resource Executive Online)
[Guidance Overview] What Employers Need to Know About the New York City Earned Sick Time Act
"The Act requires that employers with five or more employees who work in New York City at least 80 hours during a calendar year must provide those employees with paid sick leave. (Thus, part-time employees, as well as employees who are primarily employed outside of New York City, may be covered by the Act)." (Vedder Price)
Workplace Flexibility Still a Pipe Dream for Most
"[R]ecent data ... shows flexible arrangements aren't being offered to most employees, and finds employers' flexible-work options are too limited in scope and type to be effective.... What's more, when flexibility is made available, it's usually designed to enable employees to move their work in time or location, but not to reduce work expectations or provide temporary leaves from jobs -- additional adjustments experts say are needed to fill out the entire option menu and truly meet the needs of today's more mobile, knowledge-based employees." (Human Resource Executive Online)
New York City's Paid Sick Time Law Goes Into Effect April 1, 2014
"Employers that already have paid sick leave policies should also review their policies to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements of the Act. Employers without a sick time policy should give serious consideration to adopting one in advance of April 1, 2014 or to revise their current PTO or vacation policy so that it is clear it encompasses paid sick leave. Those employers who have offices in other jurisdictions that have their own 'sick leave law' (such as Washington, D.C., San Francisco) will need to develop separate policies or coordinate a single policy that complies with multiple laws." (Herrick, Feinstein LLP)
[Guidance Overview] New York City's Revised Earned Sick Time Act Becomes Effective on April 1
"The Amended Act now immediately applies to private employers with five or more employees and employers with one or more domestic workers.... The Amended Act added the grace period for Manufacturing Employers ... and employers with between five and nineteen employees to respond to concerns raised by small business in connection with the expansion of the Act." (Littler)
Mayor Approves Newark Paid Sick Leave; Ordinance Expected to Take Effect Mid-June 2014
"As anticipated, Newark Mayor Luis Quintana approved an ordinance requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who work in Newark at least 80 hours per year. The ordinance is expected to take effect in mid-June, provided no further changes are made." (Ford & Harrison LLP)
Employers Must Treat Employees on Military Leave Like Those on Comparable Leaves, Eighth Circuit Rules
"USERRA's protection of service members' benefits is sometimes overlooked by employers, including employers that provide benefits beyond those required by statute. Employers should review the benefits available to employees on comparable leaves of absence to ensure those on military leave are receiving comparable benefits. Determining when a leave of absence is comparable can be problematic." [Dorris v. TXD Services, LP, No. 12-3096 (8th Cir. Feb. 27, 2014)] (Jackson Lewis LLP)
Newark Follows Jersey City to Enact Paid Sick Time Law
"Newark's ordinance requires paid sick time and does not provide the option of unpaid sick time; collective bargaining agreements may expressly waive the provisions set forth in the ordinance; and individuals who work for small employers (with fewer than 10 employees) are capped at 24 hours of paid sick time per calendar year. The Newark ordinance takes effect May 29, 2014, although employees covered by a current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on that date will not be affected until after the expiration of the CBA. Notably, a subsequent CBA may expressly waive the protections set forth in the ordinance." (Littler)
New York City Council Swiftly Passes Bill to Extend Paid Sick Leave for All But Smallest Employers
"The new law will require businesses with five or more employees to provide up to five paid days off a year if the employees or their relatives become ill. The original law applied only to businesses with 15 or more employees. The new law will take effect in April, when the original law was set to take effect." (The New York Times; subscription may be required)
[Guidance Overview] District of Columbia Greatly Expands Paid Sick Leave Coverage, Enforcement, and Penalties
"Once fully effective, the law will permit all workers who have worked at least 90 days to use accrued leave, allow former temporary workers to claim credit for time worked with their employer on a trial basis, and require employers to reinstate accrued leave banks for individuals who transfer out of the District and return within one year. The law will also dramatically increase the penalties for noncompliance, create a private right of action to enforce the law (in addition to the existing administrative remedy), and create a rebuttable presumption that any employee who experiences an adverse employment action within 90 days of taking leave or protesting an employer's administration of the leave policy has been the victim of retaliation." (Littler)
Newark Expected to Enact Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
"Under the Ordinance, full- and part-time employees of private-sector employers will begin to accrue leave immediately upon being hired, although they will not be eligible to use the leave until after their 90th day of employment. Sick leave will accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees who work for employers with 10 or more employees and those who work for employers in the child care, home healthcare, and food service industries will be able to accrue a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave per calendar year. Employees who work for employers with less than 10 employees and who do not work in the aforementioned industries will be able to accrue a maximum of 24 hours of sick leave per calendar year." (Morgan Lewis)
Modifications to New York City Earned Sick Leave Act Proposed
"[P]roposed modifications include ... [1] Employers with at least five, rather than 15, employees will be covered by the law.... [2] The exclusion for manufacturing businesses classified in sections 31, 32 and 33 of the North American Industry Classification System would be eliminated. [3] The relatives for whom an employee may take statutory leave for caretaking would expand to include siblings (including half siblings, step siblings, or siblings related through adoption), grandchildren and grandparents." (Jackson Lewis LLP)
A Triple Dog Dare: Take These Five Steps in 2014 to Drastically Improve Your FMLA Compliance
"Change your FMLA leave year to a rolling year measured 'backwards'.... Conduct an FMLA audit before you run into trouble... Target intermittent leave abuse.... Reign in employees on 'indefinite' leaves of absence... Train your peeps." (FMLA Insights)
The Public Sector Lags Behind in Short-Term Disability Benefits
"The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports only 23% of state and local government workers have access to short-term disability insurance. Yet 39% of employers in private industry offer this coverage to their employees. Why the discrepancy?" (Colonial Life)
Portland Sick Leave Mandate Catches Vancouver Businesses Off-Guard
"'A small Vancouver company with a single employee who telecommutes only one day per week from their home in Portland now has to grapple with this law,' said Clarence Belnavis, an employment law attorney at Fisher & Phillips LLP. 'The sales person who regularly meets clients for lunch or coffee in Portland may also be covered... The reality is that Washington employers need to review the nature of the work being performed by their employees to verify which individuals are covered.' Portland will join Seattle, San Francisco, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. as the only jurisdictions in the United States that require employers to provide sick leave." (Vancouver Business Journal)
Proposed Legislation Would Require Paid Family/Medical Leave Nationwide
"The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act of 2013, or the FAMILY Act, would cover workers in all companies, no matter their size and be funded by employee and employer payroll contributions of two-tenths of one percent each, or about $1.50 per week for a typical worker. Workers would be eligible to collect benefits equal to 66 percent of their typical monthly wages, with a capped monthly maximum amount of $1,000 per week. Unlike the [FMLA], which is only available based on the size of the employer, FAMILY Act benefits would be available to every individual who is: (1) insured for Social Security Disability Insurance when the SSDI application is filed; (2) has earned any income from employment or self-employment in the 12 months before applying for benefits; and (3) is/was engaged in qualified caregiving." (Thompson SmartHR Manager)
OECD Finds Link Between Parental Leave and the Gender Pay Gap
"Among 38 of the world's more developed nations, the United States has the least liberal government policies regarding paid parental leave, leading some to argue that this puts American women at a disadvantage as they navigate their careers But it also turns out that some countries that offer more liberal parental leave policies have higher pay gaps among men and women ages 30 to 34, according to analyses of 16 countries conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. OECD theorizes that this link may be driven by the fact that women are more likely than men to actually use their parental leave, and that time out of the work force is associated with lower wages." (Pew Research Center)
New York City's Earned Sick Time Act to Go Into Effect on April 1, 2014 (PDF)
"Employers that employ twenty or more employees must comply with the Act by April 1, 2014, and employers employing fifteen to nineteen employers must comply by October 1, 2015.... Employers subject to the Act must provide a minimum of one hour of paid sick time for every thirty hours worked by an employee. The Act provides that an employer need not provide more than forty hours of paid sick leave per year." (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP)
Upshot of Two Ohio Cases: When It Comes to the FMLA, Employers Need to Set Their Radars to Detect Potential Interference Claims
"While the plaintiffs are certainly sympathetic, these cases highlight that retaliation claims are not the only FMLA lawsuit employers face. Interference claims can arise if an employer refuses to authorize FMLA leave, discourages an employee from using FMLA leave or manipulates an employee's position, hours or job location in an effort to avoid employee eligibility. This means that an employee may interpret an employer's subtle actions as discouraging and pursue a claim." (Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP)
Among 38 Nations, U.S. Is the Outlier When It Comes to Paid Parental Leave
"Of the 38 countries represented, the U.S. is the only one that does not mandate any paid leave for new mothers. In comparison, Estonia offers about two years of paid leave, and Hungary and Lithuania offer one-and-a-half years or more of fully-paid leave. The median amount of fully-paid time off available to a mom for the birth of a child is about five-to-six months." (Pew Research Center)
Employers Set 2014 Holiday Schedules
"Almost all U.S. employers will give workers a day off next year on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and New Year's Day ... [M]ost full-time employees (78%) will receive six to 10 paid holidays per year, while most part-time workers (51%) will receive up to five paid holidays per year." (Business Management Daily; free registration required)
What Employers Need to Know About Portland, Oregon's Paid Sick Leave
"Unlike other paid sick leave laws utilized by other cities, the number of leave hours that an employer is required to provide under the Portland ordinance does not fluctuate depending on the size of the employer.... Unlike other paid sick leave ordinances enacted by other jurisdictions, Portland's ordinance does not explicitly carve out employees governed by a CBA from coverage.... [T]he ordinance provides that employers must allow employees to carry over up to 40 hours of unused Sick Time to the following year.... [T]he ordinance does not require employers to compensate employees for unused paid Sick Time upon the termination of employment." (Fisher & Phillips LLP)
[Guidance Overview] Final Regs Clarify and Expand Portland (Oregon) Sick Leave Law Requirements
"Employees who perform work for an employer by physically working in Portland via telecommuting are covered for hours that they telecommute in Portland.... Employees who perform work outside Portland, even if the employer is Portland-based, are not covered for hours worked outside Portland.... [E]mployees begin accruing sick time when the law takes effect on January 1, 2014. Regardless of whether an employee accrues unpaid or paid sick time, the accrual rate under the ordinance is the same -- one hour for every 30 hours worked within the city.... Employers with six or more employees must provide paid leave. Employers with fewer than six must provide unpaid leave." (Littler)
Paving a Way to Greater Flexibility
"On Oct. 9, San Francisco became the first municipality to pass an ordinance that gives employees working in the city the right to request changes in their working arrangements in order to meet their caregiving responsibilities. The legislation also prohibits employment discrimination based on a person's status as a caregiver or parent. Coming on the heels of a similar bill enacted in Vermont this past May, some experts predict other cities and states could soon follow Vermont and San Francisco's lead." (Human Resource Executive Online)
Stated Preference Analysis of Full and Partial Retirement in the U.S.
"The models developed to explain the retirement decisions of older workers are typically estimated using data on actual retirement behavior, from which it is difficult to identify the retirement options available to employees.... [This study uses] stated preference data to identify the preferences of individuals for full and partial retirement plans.... [The authors] analyze how the choices vary with financial incentives and other factors." (Tunga Kantarci and Arthur Van Soest via SSRN)
The Effects of Partial Retirement on Health
"We find that working part-time or full-time deteriorates overall health and memory skills. On the other hand, part-time and full-time working reduces body weight, and part-time white-collar work substantially improves the word recall score. Part-time and full-time workers are also less prone to depression. In general, health status of the elderly responds to working part-time much more than it responds to working full-time, suggesting that the effect of number of hours worked on health outcomes is nonlinear." (Tunga Kantarci via SSRN)
[Guidance Overview] Jersey City Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
"The ordinance covers all employees who work within Jersey City.... [E]mployees of Jersey City-based businesses who are not themselves based in Jersey City are covered by the ordinance if they work at least 80 hours per year within city limits. Jersey City businesses with 10 or more employees (whether the employees are located within Jersey City or not) will be required to provide paid sick leave, while those with fewer than 10 employees need only provide unpaid leave." (Morgan Lewis)
San Francisco Ordinance Would Expand Flex Time Rights
"The city's Board of Supervisors passed the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance [which] would amend the city's administrative code to allow employees in San Francisco to request flexible or predictable working arrangements to assist with their caregiving responsibilities.... The request can be made by any employee who is the primary contributor to the ongoing care of: a child or children for whom the employee has assumed parental responsibility; a person or persons with a serious health condition in a family relationship with the caregiver; or a parent of the caregiver age 65 or over." (Thompson SmartHR Manager)
New Law Expands California's Paid Family Leave Benefits
"Under the California Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, which is funded by mandatory payroll deductions, employees taking time off work to care for seriously ill family members or to bond with foster or adopted children are eligible for up to six weeks of partial wage replacement benefits. Currently, the PFL definition of 'family' includes children, spouses or domestic partners, and parents. Senate Bill 770 expands the definition of 'family' to cover employees caring for siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and parents-in-law with serious illnesses, effective July 1, 2014." (Paul Hastings LLP)
Jersey City Paid Sick Leave Law Applies to Employees Who Work at Least 80 Hours Per Calendar Year in City
"The Jersey City Council voted 7-1 to pass a bill that will provide paid sick leave for workers in New Jersey's second largest city. Any business with 10 or more employees must offer as many as five paid sick days per year. Businesses with fewer employees will be required to provide unpaid sick days. The ordinance carries civil penalties, creates a private right of action for aggrieved employees, and empowers the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services to audit employers and investigate and adjudicate complaints." (Ford & Harrison LLP)
The Rise of Semi-Retirement
"[A recent] survey found that 19 percent of respondents between ages 55 and 64 consider themselves to be semi-retired, and another 32 percent hope to move into semi-retirement before retiring full time. The idea of semi-retirement is also popular among younger people, with 43 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds and 41 percent of people between ages 35 and 44 hoping to semi-retire. Workers between ages 45 and 54 are slightly less inclined toward semi-retirement, with only 27 percent planning to do so." (U.S.News & World Report)
[Guidance Overview] New Maryland Law Requiring Accommodations for Pregnant Employees Becomes Effective October 1, 2013
"If a pregnant employee requests a reasonable accommodation, the Act requires that an employer explore certain reasonable accommodations with the employee, specifically including as follows: [1] Changing the employee's job duties; [2] Changing the employee's work hours; [3] Relocating the employee's work area; [4] Providing mechanical or electrical aids; [5] Transferring the employee to a less strenuous or less hazardous position; or [6] Providing the employee with leave from his or her position." (Saul Ewing LLP)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2013-65: Special Per Diem Rates for 2013-2014 (PDF)
"This annual notice provides the 2013-2014 special per diem rates for taxpayers to use in substantiating the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home, specifically (1) the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses (M&IE) rates, (2) the rate for the incidental expenses only deduction, and (3) the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method." (Internal Revenue Service)
The Challenges of an Aging Workforce
"With [more baby boomers] opting to stay in the workforce, organizations will be able to continue reaping the benefits of their skills and institutional knowledge. An aging workforce brings far more than experience, however. Along with it comes a new slate of challenges and prejudices that must be addressed if employers hope to realize the full benefit of an increasingly mature workforce. From managing brief, yet damaging indignities, dubbed microaggressions, to accommodating physical limitations to offering flexible work schedules and retraining initiatives, employers are taking steps to ensure their aging population is able to remain on the job." (Human Resource Executive Online)
Ask and Ye Shall Receive? The Dynamics of Employer-Provided Flexible Work Options and the Need for Public Policy
"[M]anagers were most likely to grant flextime to high-status men seeking flexible schedules in order to advance their careers. In contrast, flexible scheduling requests from women were unlikely to be granted irrespective of their job status or reason.... [E]mployees were unaware of these managerial biases: women assigned high-status jobs and requests for career advancement reasons were the most likely to think their requests would be granted, while men in the same scenarios were least likely to believe this. Organizational and policy implications are discussed." (The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues)
Welcome to the 72-Hour Work Week
"[A] recent survey of 483 executives, managers, and professionals [found] that 60% of those who carry smartphones for work are connected to their jobs 13.5 or more hours a day on weekdays and about five hours on weekends, for a total of about 72 hours. Assuming these people sleep about seven and a half hours a night, that leaves only three hours a day Monday-Friday for them to do everything else (e.g. chores, exercise, grocery shop, family time, shower, relax). It also means they spend 62% of their waking hours every week connected to work (82% on weekdays). That seems like a lot." (Harvard Business Review; free registration required)
Making the Case for Working Longer
"[D]elaying retirement improves a retiree's financial security in three critical ways: The worker can continue to save money for a few more years and will have more time to earn investment income on his savings. For each year he works past age 62, he's also increasing the size of his future Social Security checks by about 7 percent to 8 percent. Working longer reduces the number of years in retirement that must be paid for." (Fidelity & Guaranty Life, and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)
Postal Service Inspector General Puts Retirement and Leave Benefits Under the Microscope
"The U.S. Postal Service's internal auditor is seeking private sector input on the best way to administer paid time off and retirement benefits ... The reports will 'reveal the ways in which the Postal Service could benefit from adopting the identified best practices' for its retirement and leave benefits programs, the inspector general said ... USPS spends $5 billion annually to provide paid time off for its employees ... The forthcoming audit, with the help of the IG's private sector partner, will 'inform the Postal Service whether there is an opportunity to reduce leave costs.'" (Government Executive)
[Guidance Overview] Know Your Rights: Breastfeeding in the Workplace
"[T]he Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division [has] published an employee rights card that outlines the FLSA's basic requirements for break time, lists resources where additional information can be found (including a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone), and shares how to file a complaint with the division if an employee feels her rights have been violated. We encourage you to visit the nursing mothers section of the Wage and Hour Division's website, download the new employee rights card and help us spread the word about these resources. There is also a link that allows other agencies and stakeholders to share the card through their websites." (DOL Blog)
Seventh Circuit Says Request for Leave to Attend Overseas Family Funeral May Require Religious Accommodation
"Two written requests from an employee for unpaid leave to attend funeral rites for his father in Africa created a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the employer received notice of the religious nature of the request for purposes of accommodation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has ruled.... The Court described three factors to consider when determining whether a belief is in fact 'religious' for purpose of Title VII: '(1) the belief necessitating the accommodation must actually be religious, (2) that the religious belief must be sincerely held, and (3) accommodation of the sincerely held belief must not impose an undue hardship.'" [Adeyeye v. Heartland Sweeteners, LLC, No. 12-3820 (7th Cir. July 31, 2013)] (Jackson Lewis LLP)
[Official Guidance] Text of OPM Proposed Regs on Compensatory Time Off for Religious Observances and Other Miscellaneous Changes (PDF)
"The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is issuing proposed regulations to amend its current regulations on compensatory time off for religious observances. The proposal would clarify employee and agency responsibilities, provide timeframes for earning and using religious compensatory time off, and define key terms. In addition, we are making other miscellaneous changes in the pay and leave area." (U.S. Office of Personnel Management)
Paid Leave in Private Industry Over the Past 20 Years
"[In 2012, 72 percent] of workers received both paid holidays and paid vacations, and 61 percent were covered by sick leave plans. For employers, the cost for providing these benefits to employees was $1.98 per hour worked, and these benefits made up 6.9 percent of total compensation.... The eligibility for paid leave has undergone change over the past 20 years. While fewer workers enjoy paid vacations, employers are increasingly providing access to sick leave, personal leave, and family leave.... [In March 1992,] the employer cost per employee hour worked for paid leave was $1.09 or 6.8 percent of total compensation[.]" (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
'Nursing Mother' Break Requirement Spurs Investigations, Lawsuits
"So far, enforcement efforts appear mainly to have involved the [DOL]. The most-recent statistics released reveal that the agency found one or more violations of the break requirement in two-thirds of the 54 investigations it conducted.... Management should develop a policy for dealing with the break obligation before a worker comes forward with her request. Planning points will include, among others, who will take the lead in evaluating each worker's request, what location(s) will be provided, how management will go about arriving at the appropriate length and number of breaks, and whether there are any unusual or atypical factors to be evaluated ahead of time." (Fisher & Phillips LLP)
BLS Report: Private Industry Workers' Average Vacation Days in 2012
"During 2012, 38 percent of private industry workers who had 1 year of service with their employer (and had access to a paid vacation plan) received between 5 and 9 paid vacation days per year, and 35 percent received between 10 and 14 paid vacation days. On average, workers with 1 year of service received 10 days of paid vacation in 2012. Among private industry workers with 5 years of service, more were in the 10-14 days of paid vacation category than any other category: 36 percent of these workers received 10 to 14 paid vacation days in 2012, while 34 percent received between 15 and 19 days. On average, workers with 5 years of service received 14 days of paid vacation." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
New Jersey Employers Must Provide Unpaid Leave to Victims of Domestic Violence under New Law
"The NJ SAFE Act contains a posting requirement, civil penalties for violations, availability of injunctive relief, and a private cause of action for any violation of the Act (in which a litigant may recover lost wages, benefits, costs, and attorney's fees). Claims for harassment, retaliation or discrimination because of the use of or entitlement to leave under the statute are covered." (Jackson Lewis LLP)
[Guidance Overview] New NYC Law Requires Employers to Provide Earned Sick Leave
"In order to earn sick time, an employee must work within New York City, have been employed for at least four months and have worked for more than 80 hours in a calendar year with the employer. Temporary and part-time employees are, likewise, entitled to earn sick time if they meet these minimum requirements." (Wolff Samson)
Chart Showing Paid Leave by Occupation, March 2013
"In March 2013, about three-quarters of all workers in private industry and state and local government had access to paid holidays and paid vacations (76 percent and 74 percent, respectively), while roughly two-thirds had access to paid sick leave (65 percent).... The proportion of management, professional, and related workers who received paid sick leave (85 percent) was larger than the proportion that received paid holidays and paid vacations (79 percent and 75 percent, respectively).... Paid leave was least common among service occupations." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
[Guidance Overview] Minnesota Expands Mandatory Sick Leave
"Minnesota employers that offer employees sick leave benefits have long been required to allow their employees to use such benefits to care for not only themselves, but also for their sick or injured children. Starting August 1, 2013, amendments to the Minnesota Parenting Leave Act ... will require employers offering sick leave benefits to allow their employees to use them to care for many other family members as well. 'Covered' family members will include not only minor children and those attending school, up to age 20, but also the employee's own spouse, siblings, adult children, parents, grandparents and stepparents." (Jackson Lewis LLP)
[Guidance Overview] New Jersey Enacts Domestic Violence Leave Law
"A bill providing protected leave to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault has been signed into law and is expected to take effect on November 1, 2013. The new law will require New Jersey employers with 25 or more employees to provide 20 days of job-protected leave to eligible employees.... To be eligible for the leave, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and for at least 1,000 hours during the immediately preceding 12-month period....Employees must take the leave within one year of the qualifying event. The leave will run concurrently with any other leave entitlements, such as [FMLA leave], and employers will be permitted to require employees use available accrued leave." (Ford & Harrison LLP)
New York City Council Passes Paid Sick Leave Law Over Mayor's Veto
"[Beginning on April 1, 2014,] private sector employers with 20 or more employees within New York City will be required to offer at least 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to each employee ... Private sector employers with less than 20 employees within New York City will be required to offer at least 40 hours of unpaid sick leave per year to each employee ... The number of employees that an employer has is determined by counting all compensated workers during a given week, including full-time, part-time, and per diem employees." (Bond Schoeneck & King)
Maryland Enacts Leave Law for Family of Armed Service Members
"Effective October 1, 2013, Maryland employers must provide employees with one day of unpaid leave to be used on the day the employee's 'immediate family member' is leaving for or returning from active military duty outside the United States as a member of the armed forces. 'Immediate family member' is defined as the employee's spouse (including a same-sex spouse), parent, stepparent, child, stepchild or sibling." (Jackson Lewis LLP)
New York City Passes Law Requiring Paid Sick Leave for Employers of 20 or More
"Private sector employers with employees working in New York City are covered. Employers with 20 or more employees are required to provide paid sick time, although this threshold could drop to 15 employees; other covered employers are required to provide unpaid sick time.... An employer with a paid leave policy -- such as PTO, vacation, or personal days -- that provides an employee with enough paid leave to meet the accrual requirements, and that allows such paid leave to be used 'for the same purposes and under the same conditions as paid sick leave,' is not required to provide additional paid sick time." (Ballard Spahr)
Loosening the PTO Rules
"With all the rhetoric around the benefits of establishing more flexible-work arrangements for employees, it's somewhat surprising that the number of companies taking creative approaches to workers' paid vacation time is as low as it is.... [O]nly 5 percent allow employees to buy more vacation time through payroll deductions and only 7 percent allow them to donate unused vacation days to a companywide kitty or to specific individuals. What's more, those figures don't seem to be trending up or down." (Human Resource Executive Online)
On Upcoming Referendum in San Francisco: Proposed Mandatory Flexible Working Arrangements
"[The] proposed 'Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance' ... would allow employees who are caregivers to request a wide range of flexible working arrangements. Employers would be able to deny the request only upon a showing of 'undue hardship.' If approved by voters on November 5, 2013, this ordinance would, subject to any legal challenge, take effect on July 1, 2014, and would be the first of its kind in the United States.... Employers that regularly employ ten or more employees would have to comply with the ordinance[.]" (Nixon Peabody LLP)
FMLA Stats Will Help Your Company Feel Better -- Unless You're in One of These Five Industries
"[T]he five industries where FMLA leave is most rampant ... Casinos (49% of employees take FMLA leave in a year), Health care (39%), Government (36%), Call centers (33%) and Manufacturing (23%). For comparison purposes, ... only 7% of employees in professional services firms take FMLA leave in a year -- one of the lowest industry percentages the study found." (HR Benefits Alert)
Supporting Family Caregivers with Progressive Workplace Leave Policies (PDF)
"Policy Recommendations: [1] Increase the reach of [FMLA] by expanding the relationships covered by the law to include domestic partners, parents-in-law, grandparents, and siblings. [2] Require employers to protect workers in businesses with fewer than 50 employees. [3] Adopt policies at the state level that exceed the current federal eligibility requirements for the FMLA. [4] Optimize worker productivity and retention at the federal, state, and local levels by promoting access to paid family leave insurance." (AARP Public Policy Institute)
Colorado Family Care Act Signed into Law
"[In] addition to the leave that an employee is entitled to the under the FMLA, an eligible Colorado employee is now also entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period to care for a person with a serious health condition who is the employee's partner via a civil union under Colorado's newly-enacted civil union law, or the employee's domestic partner as registered in the employee's residential municipality or as recognized by the employer. The law will go into effect on August 7, 2013 ... unless a referendum petition is filed before that date." (Fisher & Phillips LLP)
Failure to Provide Additional Leave as ADA Accommodation Could Prove Costly to Employers
"If it's going to take you two months to offer the position to a candidate ... it will be difficult to show that it is an undue hardship to grant the two month leave of absence.... The easier it is for a temp employee to fill the position, the longer the leave typically needs to be.... [T]he more fungible the position, the longer the leave needs to be.... [If the employee] asks a third, fourth or fifth time for additional leave, don't be afraid to ask the employee's physician to explain why the additional leave did not allow the employee to come back to work when he/she said the employee would." (FMLA Insights)
Need More Time Off from Work? Just Buy It
"[Nine] percent of employers allowed workers to cash out unused vacation time. Five percent let employees purchase additional vacation days through a payroll deduction. An additional 7 percent allowed employees to donate vacation time to a general pool that can be used by other workers.... The cost is usually one week's salary, prorated over the course of the year. Employees often have to decide whether to participate during an annual fall enrollment process and it becomes part of their benefits for the upcoming year." (Fox News)

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