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Flexible work time

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[Guidance Overview] Massachusetts Becomes the Latest Jurisdiction to Require Paid Sick Leave
"Employers whose current paid time off (PTO) policies satisfy the amended statute's minimum leave and accrual obligations are not required to provide additional sick time in response to the new law. Moreover, employers may require employees to provide documentation from a health care provider for periods of sick time covering more than 24 consecutively scheduled hours of work." (Mintz Levin)
[Guidance Overview] Do You Have California Employees? Action Required by January 1, 2015 to Comply with California's New Paid Sick Leave Law
"The law treats accrual and use differently. Although employees begin to accrue paid sick leave immediately, employers may prevent employees from using their paid sick leave until the 90th day of employment. Employers may also cap the use of paid sick leave to 24 hours (3 days) per year. In other words, although a full-time employee could theoretically accrue a maximum of up to 8.6 paid sick days per year (or 6 days if the employer sets an accrual cap), the employer may cap the employee's use of that time to 3 days per year. Employers may also establish minimum usage blocks of up to 2 hours." (Haynes and Boone, LLP)
California's New Paid Sick Leave Law
"Effective July 1, 2015, this legislation entitles employees to accrue and use up to three paid sick leave days in a 12-month period for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition or preventative care for an employee or an employee's family members. The bill also provides paid sick leave where the employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This legislation will cover most temporary, extra help, part-time, and seasonal employees, as long as they work 30 days or more within a year of beginning employment." (Liebert Cassidy Whitmore)
Flex Time Doesn't Need to Be an HR Policy
"While only 29% [of men surveyed] had regularly scheduled flextime/flexplace arrangements, 66% stated they can use flex when they need to. This 'as needed' flexibility is actually the preferred work schedule of a plurality of the respondents (as opposed to formal work-from-home days or full-time work from home). 73% were happy with the extent to which they were able to work from home. 78% stated that they were at least somewhat comfortable using flexibility. 62% said their employers encourage the use of flexibility to at least some extent." (Harvard Business Review)
Philadelphia Mayor's Task Force Recommends Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
"The report makes the following recommendations: [1] Employers with 15 or more employees should provide paid sick leave to qualifying employees.... [2] Sick leave should be available to employees for their own injury, medical care, and health conditions, as well as those of family members, including children, spouses, domestic partners, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings (including foster, step, and in-law relationships).... [3] No compensation should be provided for any earned and unused time at separation from employment.... If Philadelphia adopts these recommendations as law, an estimated 120,000 of the 200,000 workers currently without paid sick leave would become entitled to the new leave." (Ballard Spahr LLP)
[Guidance Overview] California Imposes Mandatory Sick Leave Law
"California's sick leave law requires mandatory paid sick leave accrual measured from July 1, 2015, forward; however, the notice, posting and other requirements are effective as of January 1, 2015. Because this deadline is fast approaching, employers with employees working in California should carefully review their sick and PTO policies, as well as payroll policies for reporting such time on wage statements. Every employer also should review its new-hire procedures and notices, and workplace posting and recordkeeping policies, because California's sick leave law affects each of these items." (McDermott Will & Emery)
[Guidance Overview] California Guarantees Paid Sick Leave to Employees
"An employer must provide an employee with written notice that sets forth the amount of paid sick leave available for use, either on the employee's itemized wage statement or in a separate writing provided on the designated pay date with the employee's payment of wages.... [If] an employee separates from an employer and is rehired within one year, previously accrued and unused paid sick days must be reinstated, and the employee is permitted to use those reinstated days upon rehire." (Ballard Spahr LLP)
Government Workers Get First Crack at Phased Retirement
"The nation's largest employer, the federal government, on Nov. 6 began accepting applications for phased retirement. While the rules apply only to federal workers, they could serve as a pilot project for the private sector.... During phased retirement, employees will be paid for part-time work, supplemented by a partial annuity, and will continue to accrue additional service credits toward their final annuity. The employees also will spend 20% of their time mentoring younger workers." (InvestmentNews)
Voters Approve Paid Sick Leave Initiatives by Healthy Margins (PDF)
"Unlike the Connecticut law, the Massachusetts mandate is not restricted by the employer's size or industry, and also provides a more generous employee benefit than the new California law (40 versus 24 hours of paid leave per year).... Employers that already have a PTO policy will not have to provide additional paid sick time if the policy allows an amount of time that may be used for the same purposes and is sufficient to satisfy the requirements for accrued paid sick leave under these new laws." (Buck Consultants at Xerox)
New Jersey Considering Requirement for Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
"The bills [would] require New Jersey employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave per 30 hours worked for all employees who work in the State. Small employers, defined as those with fewer than 10 employees, will be required to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per year and allow their employees to carry that time forward for one year. Larger employers, defined as those with more than 10 employees, will be required to provide 72 hours and permit the same carry-forward option. Full-time, part-time and temporary employees (including those provided by a third-party agency) are subject to the headcount calculation." (Wolff & Samson)
'Work Martyrs' Turning U.S. Into 'PTO Graveyard'
"The average worker earns 21 days of PTO each year but uses only 77% of that time, forfeiting 4.9 days ... Permanently lost PTO days totaled 169 million, or 1.6 per employee, in 2013 ... Employees who left 11-15 days of PTO unused last year are actually less likely to have received a raise or bonus in the past three years than those who used all of their PTO. The only thing they may gain, in fact, is stress." (CFO)
GAO Report on Federal Paid Administrative Leave: Additional Guidance Needed to Improve OPM Data
"GAO was asked to examine the use of paid administrative leave [within federal agencies]. This report [1] describes paid administrative leave policies at selected federal agencies; [2] reviews practices in recording and reporting paid administrative leave and describes the number of federal employees granted such leave, and the amount and associated salary costs of such leave; and [3] describes categories for which large amounts of paid administrative leave have been charged by individual employees at selected federal agencies." (U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO])
[Guidance Overview] Changes Coming to Connecticut's Paid Sick Leave Law on January 1, 2015 (PDF)
"Under current law, employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked during a calendar year. Under the amended law, employers will not be restricted to using the calendar year for accrual purposes.... This change will allow employers to start the paid sick leave benefit year on any date (such as on the employee's anniversary date or the beginning of the employer's fiscal year), and to align the accrual period for paid sick leave with other paid time off policies and timekeeping systems." (Buck Consultants at Xerox)
District of Columbia's Expanded Paid Sick Leave Law Now in Effect (PDF)
"In addition to expanding the definition of employer, the amended law also redefines employee eligibility for paid leave by eliminating the 12-month and 1,000 hours of service threshold, and extends the leave entitlement to both temporary workers and to tipped employees who were not covered by the 2008 law." (Buck Consultants at Xerox)
[Guidance Overview] Two More Cities Require Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave (PDF)
"Eugene, Oregon and San Diego, California are the latest to join a growing list of cities that have enact ed laws requiring employers to provide paid sick leave. The laws share many common characteristics, but local variations can complicate employers' leave and attendance policies and their administration." (Buck Consultants at Xerox)
Philadelphia Passes Breastfeeding Act
"Under the amendment, an employer's failure to reasonably accommodate employees who need to express milk constitutes sex discrimination. A reasonable accommodation for a breastfeeding employee includes 'providing unpaid break time or allowing an employee to use paid break, mealtime, or both, to express milk and providing a private, sanitary space that is not a bathroom where an employee can express breast milk.' The federal [ACA] contains similar requirements, but they apply only to non-exempt employees. The Philadelphia amendment covers all employees, both exempt and non-exempt." (Pepper Hamilton LLP)
Paid Vacation Benefits Available to 77 Percent of Private-Industry Employees
"Access to paid vacations varied significantly by occupation. Paid vacation benefits were available to 55 percent of private-industry workers in service occupations in March 2014. In contrast, over 90 percent of private-industry workers in production occupations, installation, maintenance, and repair occupations, and management, business, and financial occupations received paid vacations." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS])
Paid Leave Encourages Female Employees to Stay
"Just 59 percent of workers say their employers offer them paid leave ... After California became the first state to offer paid parental leave, new mothers were more likely to return to work ... The policy debate is not just about parents of young children; paid leave policies also cover employees who need to care for aging parents. Elder care is already eating away at women's work force participation, which is why the biggest declines are among women in their 40s and 50s. That need will surge in coming years." (The New York Times; subscription may be required)
Flextime Is Declining, But 'Flex Around the Edges' Is Up
"[S]ome forms of flexibility -- mostly allowing workers more control over when they start and end their workdays and more opportunities to telecommute -- are on the rise. Since [a 2008 study], employers have continued to increase such options as control over breaks (from 84% to 92%), control over overtime hours (from 27% to 45%), and time off during the workday when important needs arise (from 73% to 82%).... [But] more substantial flexible work arrangements are being reduced. According to [a 2014] study, employers have slashed options that involve employees spending significant amounts of time away from full-time work, including sharing jobs (down from 29% to 18%), sabbaticals (from 38% to 28%), and career breaks for personal or family responsibilities (from 64% to 52%)." (Harvard Business Review Blog Network)
Telecommuting: Benefit or Accommodation?
"In 2012, a [U.S. district court in Michigan] acknowledged ... that employers are entitled to judge whether it is acceptable for their employees to work from home. However, the Sixth Circuit recently reversed[,] ... saying the telecommuting request of one employee may have been a request for a reasonable accommodation, thereby sending the decision back to trial for a jury to decide. [One employment attorney] says the appellate court's reversal has signaled a game-change in the way such cases will be handled in the future." [EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, No. 12-2484 (6th Cir. Apr. 22, 2014)] (Human Resource Executive Online)
Your Work-Life Balance Should Be Your Company's Problem
"This is the first study to offer evidence based on a randomized trial that workplace interventions, such as increased schedule control and supervisor support, can reduce employee work-life conflict.... [T]he research shows that there is a way to move away from ... individual accommodations that a person negotiates with his or her boss -- and toward systemic change in an organization that benefits all." (Nanette Fondas in Harvard Business Review Blog Network)
Connecticut Legislature Makes Changes to Paid Sick Leave Law
"The 2012 version of the law required employers with 50 or more employees in Connecticut during any of the previous year's quarters to provide paid sick leave to qualifying employees. In contrast, under Public Act 14-128, employers must determine if they meet the 50-employee threshold based on the number of employees on their payroll during the week containing October 1, annually." (Ogletree Deakins)
Right to Request Flexible Working Extended in U.K.
"From 30 June 2014 employees with 26 weeks' continuous service who wish to work flexibly for any reason may make an application which their employer must consider in a 'reasonable' manner.... Rather than viewing flexible working as an option for care-givers (who tend to be women), the government wants to create an environment where both men and women work flexibly for the benefit of their families, and where employers support all of their employees to achieve the ever elusive 'work/life balance'." (Orrick)
University Gets It Right When It Says, 'Enough Is Enough': Tenth Circuit Upholds Inflexible Leave Policy
"[T]he court held there is nothing inherently discriminatory about an inflexible leave policy, in fact, so long as the leave time is not unreasonably short, such policies can protect the rights of the disabled employees, by making sure they are not singled out.... The EEOC still frowns upon inflexible leave policies; therefore, it would still be wise for employers to go through the interactive process to determine how much additional leave is required and whether the additional requested leave would be unreasonable under the circumstances." [Hwang v. Kansas State Univ., No. 13-3070 (10th Cir. May 29, 2014)] (Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP)
Paid Sick Leave Moves Ahead While Paid Family Leave Lags Behind (PDF)
"Because large employers often provide paid sick leave for their employees either on a stand-alone basis or as part of a PTO program, sick leave laws are apt to have a greater impact on small employers.... While the formula may change based on a city's demographics and business climate, the basic construct ... likely will continue to be used as additional cities explore the viability of paid leave laws. Notably, the recently proposed Chicago ordinance expressly references the paid sick leave policies of Jersey City, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland." (Buck Consultants)
California State-Mandated Employee Leaves of Absence
"We just worked with an attorney to rewrite our California employee handbook. For your enjoyment, here are all the state-mandated leaves of absence we are required to provide employees (most unpaid, but some paid) and for which we must write detailed rules in our employee manual. We'd likely provide most of this stuff anyway if asked, but the administrative hassle of having this all be a point of law (backed with the threat of expensive litigation if we make even the smallest mistake) is expensive and irritating." (Coyote Blog)
IRS Announces Section 409A Audit Initiative
"Section 409A created severe penalties for the service provider (i.e., the employee or director) ... [including] a 20% additional income tax, interest on underpaid taxes, and the acceleration of taxable income once the award is no longer subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture. Although the tax consequences apply to the employee or other service provider, companies will want to make sure that their deferred compensation arrangements comply because of potential related exposure, e.g., due to employee claims against the employer, employer withholding and reporting noncompliance, and the allocation of Code Section 409A risks/costs in future M&A or other transactions." (Quarles & Brady LLP)
Employees Sense Weakened Commitment to Work/Life Flexibility; Lack of Training Contributes to Eroding Confidence
"[W]hile almost all full-time employees reported they had some type of flexibility in 2013, more than 4 in 10 full-time employees were uncertain about their employer's commitment to that flexibility.... A majority of employees did not receive training or guidance on how to manage work life flexibility. A majority of employees continue to cite obstacles to work life flexibility with the number of employees noting their workloads increased/they had no time rising from 29% in 2011 to 37% in 2013." (flex+strategy group)
With Flextime, Bosses Prefer Early Birds to Night Owls
"Research shows that in general, flexible work practices lead to increased productivity, higher job satisfaction, and decreased turnover intentions.... Across 149 employee-supervisor dyads, even after statistically controlling for total work hours, employees who started work earlier in the day were rated by their supervisors as more conscientious, and thus received higher performance ratings.... [T]eam leaders must come to accept that the people who use flextime to start their day late are not necessarily lazier than their early-bird colleagues. Otherwise, flextime policies that could serve both employees and employers well will become known, and avoided, as routes to dead-end careers." (Christopher M. Barnes, Kai Chi Yam and Ryan Fehr in Harvard Business Review Blog Network)
First Circuit Finds No FMLA Violation Despite Employer's Improper and Untimely FMLA Notices
"On one hand, the employer technically violated the FMLA when it failed to provide Scott proper and timely FMLA notices. On the other hand, however, Scott took about 16 weeks of leave, which outstripped the 12 weeks provided for under the FMLA. Thus, the deciding factor for the court was that Scott failed to provide any evidence that he actually could return before his leave ended or that he would have structured his leave differently had he been provided appropriate notice.... For the court, 'nothing was lost, nor was any harm suffered, by reason of the [failure to provide proper and timely notices].'" [Scott Bellone v.Southwick-Tolland Regional School District, No. 13-1341 (1st Cir. May 2, 2014)] (FMLA Insights)
Employer Must Prove Physical Presence in Workplace is Essential Function, Sixth Circuit Rules
"Likely making it easier for employees to telecommute from home as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the [Sixth Circuit] has determined that 'attendance' is no longer synonymous with physical presence in the workplace.... Employers should be prepared to identify the job requirements that cannot be performed remotely. Further, employers who must accommodate an employee should plan for the related employment issues that go along with working from home, including tracking hours for non-exempt employees, monitoring employee productivity and performance remotely, and maintaining data privacy and security of sensitive company and client information when this information is accessed remotely or maintained at an employee's residence." [EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, No. 12-2484 (6th Cir. Apr. 22, 2014)] (Jackson Lewis LLP)
PTO Policy: What Are Your Obligations as an Employer?
"There are several ways to get more out of a paid time off policy at your company, including: [1] Giving employees the chance to self-schedule paid time off ... [2] Using a paid time off accrual system that encourages employees to have good attendance levels throughout the year; [3] Offering alternatives to standard paid time off, such as giving employees the option to volunteer in the community in exchange for more hours off; [4] Flexibility that makes it possible for employees to use up their paid time off days with 1-2 last minute personal days... [5] Saving up or rolling over a portion of unused paid time off into the next year[.]" (PayScale)
Some Things Are Worth Repeating: Beware of PTO Cash-Outs!
"Most people ... have a hard time appreciating why an employee with hundreds of hours of unused PTO would be taxable on the value of PTO that they do not either take or cash out. But ... 'constructive receipt' can make a person taxable on income (cash) that the person could take, but chooses not to.... Employers with such policies have almost certainly under-reported income taxes and payroll taxes!" (Focus on Public Benefits)
Paid Family Leave: Can a State-by-State Approach Work?
"After lobbying state by state for years, some supporters of paid family leave say it's time for a federal solution. A proposal in Congress ... would export the models used in California, New Jersey and Rhode Island nationwide. Those are the only three states with their own paid leave laws." (The Pew Charitable Trusts)
The Flexibility Bias
"What the flexibility bias literature shows us is that using work/life policies for other kinds of reasons -- such as for a personal health-related reason or even using it to do things like training for a marathon, are not stigmatized in the same way as taking leave for family care-related responsibilities." (Human Resource Executive Online)
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)

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