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Benefits in the News > By Subject >

Family and medical leave, incl. FMLA

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How Do Employers Calculate FMLA Leave Around the Holidays?
"If the employee gets Thanksgiving Day off as an employer holiday and then takes the entire rest of work week off for an FMLA reason, the employer should count the entire workweek as one full week of FMLA leave used. The same reasoning would apply if the holiday occurred on any other day of the workweek and the employee was otherwise absent for the remaining work days that week. However, if the employee works any part of the workweek (e.g., he works Monday then is gone the rest of Thanksgiving week on FMLA leave), the employer cannot count the holiday as FMLA leave." (FMLA Insights)
Proper FMLA Notice Is Not a Mere Technicality
"Canigiani had neither conceded that she had no damages or remedy under the FMLA, nor had she had an opportunity to prove damages but failed to do so.... Considering that Canigiani pleaded that she was damaged as a result of the defendant's failure to notify her of her FMLA rights and that she demanded in her pleadings, among other relief, 'actual damages suffered, including back pay, front pay, loss of benefits, future pecuniary loss and lost future earnings capacity,' the district court found her allegations sufficient to survive BOA's motion to dismiss." [Canigiani v. Banc of America Merchant Services LLC, No. 17-61270 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 3, 2017)] (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
[Guidance Overview] Answers to Employer Questions on New York Paid Family Leave
"How do employers calculate employee contributions? ... How are employee contributions and PFL benefits taxed? ... Are small employers exempt from this law? ... How does the PFL define a 'domestic partner?' ... Is there any time limit during which employees must satisfy the PFL eligibility requirements? ... Do employees who are not yet eligible for PFL benefits need to make contributions? ... How about employees who have children in 2017 -- is there any waiting period for them to start using PFL benefits in 2018?" (Nixon Peabody LLP)
Congress Tackles Federal Paid Leave with Flexible Work Standards Bill
"[A] qualified flexible workplace arrangement plan would be governed by ERISA ... [and] would need to comply with standard provisions for such matters as documentation, reporting, disclosure, and fiduciary responsibility, and would be subject to ERISA's enforcement provisions. The full extent of ERISA's preemption may yet need to be determined." (Ballard Spahr LLP)
[Guidance Overview] New York City Expands Earned Sick Time Act to Assist Employees and Family Members Who Are Crime Victims
"The amendments will permit employees to use accrued sick/safe time as a result of the employee or the employee's covered family member being a victim of family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking." (Fox Rothschild LLP)
Chronic Back Condition, Disputed Notice Issues Leave FMLA Claims Standing
"Given that the employee called in every day to his supervisor to say he could not work ... as well as provided two doctor's notes, the court found material fact issues on whether his employer had notice of his injuries and need for FMLA leave, especially since it provided him a phone number to call to apply for short-term disability. And though his employer claimed it had a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for firing the employee five months' later (recent excessive absences), the employer counted against him absences that occurred during the period of his potentially FMLA-qualifying leave." [West v. Pella Corp., No. 16-154 (W.D. Ky. Oct. 20, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2017-70: Treatment of Amounts Paid to Section 170(c) Organizations Under Employer Leave-Based Donation Programs to Aid Victims of the California Wildfires (PDF)
"The [IRS] will not assert that cash payments an employer makes to Section 170(c) organizations in exchange for vacation, sick, or personal leave that its employees elect to forgo constitute gross income or wages of the employees if the payments are: [1] made to the Section 170(c) organizations for the relief of victims of the 2017 California Wildfires ; and [2] paid to the Section 170(c) organizations before January 1, 2019. Similarly, the Service will not assert that the opportunity to make such an election results in constructive receipt of gross income or wages for employees." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
New York Paid Family Leave: Game Changer?
"This benefit will be incorporated under the state's statutory disability policy ... It follows a growing trend of providing guaranteed wage replacement for employees to have time to bond with a new child, provide care for a close relative or relieve family pressures related to military service.... Even if you don't have employees in one of four states that provide paid family leave, the federal government may make this a requirement in the future. It may, indeed, be time to consider a more consistent policy across organizations." (Willis Towers Watson)
[Guidance Overview] New York Issues Model Paid Family Leave Forms
"Employers should review their handbooks to ensure that they have proper policies in place providing for leave under the [New York Paid Family Leave Law]. Employers should also visit the PFLL website in order to download the PFLL forms in advance of January 1, 2018 so that they can properly respond to employee requests for leave under the PFLL in compliance with the law." (Fox Rothschild LLP)
[Guidance Overview] Bill Expanding Coverage Under the NYC Earned Sick Time Act Signed Into Law
"The amendments take effect on May 5, 2018 (180 days from the date of signing) ... [The amendments extend] leave protections under the law to include situations where an employee or an employee's covered family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses, stalking or human trafficking as defined in the bill ('safe time')." (Proskauer)
Train Your Managers on the FMLA, or You're Courting Trouble
"[T]he jury ... [found] that the employer grossly violated the FMLA when it refused to allow Grace's son to report her absences on her behalf and then terminated Grace immediately after her time in the hospital and without inquiring further.... Because the court found that the employer willfully violated the FMLA, it awarded Grace liquidated damages, which doubled Grace's back pay award." [Boadi v. Center for Human Development, Inc., No. 14-30162 (D. Mass. Sept. 21, 2017)] (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
Federal Paid Leave Proposal Introduced in Congress
"[T]he 'Workflex in the 21st Century Act' (HR 4219) would ... [allow an employer] the option of providing a certain number of paid leave hours (to be determined based on [the] organization's size and the employee's length of service) and a workplace flexibility (workflex) option. In exchange for providing these two benefits, [the employer] would be relieved of the obligation to follow any paid leave proposals at the state or local level." (Fisher Phillips)
Employer That Failed to Refute FMLA and Overtime Claims Ordered to Pay Discharged Worker Over $70k
"An employer failed to refute a dispatcher's claims that she was denied overtime pay, discouraged from taking leave to undergo eye surgery, and fired in retaliation for asserting her FMLA rights. Granting the [employee's] motion for summary judgment on her FLSA and FMLA claims, a federal court in Florida awarded her $70,222 in damages ... [including] two-years lost wages of $32,561.75 plus liquidated damages in the same amount." [Affonso v. Southeastern Florida Transportation Group, LLC, No. 14-81309 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 6, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
Republican Lawmakers Try New Approach to Paid Leave, Workplace Flexibility
"The Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219), introduced by Reps. Mimi Walters (R-CA), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), would create a voluntary program whereby employers that choose to offer their employees a minimum number of compensable leave days per year and institute a flexible work arrangement would be exempt from the current patchwork of local and state paid leave laws. Eight states and more than 30 localities nationwide have enacted varying paid leave requirements, creating a compliance challenge for multi-state employers." (Littler)
[Guidance Overview] Washington State's Paid Sick and Safe Leave Update: The Administrative Regs Are Finally Final
"The Department recently finalized the regulations to implement Washington's paid sick leave law. This article discusses the key requirements for drafting and implementing legally compliant policies." (Ogletree Deakins)
Employer's Honest Belief of FMLA Abuse Defeats Employee's Retaliation Claim
"The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ... has ruled that an employer's decision to terminate an employee based on its honest belief that the employee misused FMLA leave is sufficient to defeat a FMLA retaliation claim, even if the employer's belief is mistaken.... [T]he employee [also] claimed that his termination amounted to deprivation of benefits and, therefore, FMLA interference. The court found that the employee could not show that FMLA benefits were actually withheld as there was no evidence in the record to confirm that he was denied an FMLA benefit." [Capps v. Mondelez Global, LLC, No. 15-3839 (3d Cir. Jan. 30, 2017)] (The Wagner Law Group)
Managing the Interplay Between the ADA, FMLA and Workers Compensation
"Analyze and evaluate the employee's circumstances under each law separately.... Understand what each law requires.... Apply the law that provides the most benefits to the employee." (Foley & Lardner LLP)
[Guidance Overview] New York Paid Family Leave Law Update
"In advance of the January 1, 2018 effective date for the New York Paid Family Leave Law, the New York Workers Compensation Board has issued model paid family leave request, certification, and waiver forms ... The benefits under the program will be phased in starting on January 1, 2018, with employees eligible for leave of up to eight weeks; will escalate in 2019 with eligibility for leave of up to 10 weeks; and will then be fully implemented in 2021 with eligibility for up to 12 weeks of leave under the program." (Winston & Strawn LLP)
Leave Employees Alone During FMLA Time Off
"FMLA interference claims can be harder for an employer to defend than retaliation claims under the law due to the differing legal proof requirements ... An employee does not have to prove 'malicious intent' by the employer for an interference claim but must for a retaliation claim.... By addressing any misconduct when the employee returns from leave, the employer avoids the possibility of an interference claim[.]" (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
Employee Fired While on Leave, Not Allowed to Telecommute, Advances FMLA and ADA Claims
"[A] federal court in Missouri found triable issues existed as to whether the employee was denied FMLA leave and fired for exercising her FMLA rights, whether being at the office was an essential function of her job that she could not perform due to her disability, and whether telecommuting would have been a reasonable accommodation." [Teetor v. Rock-Tenn Services, Inc., No. 15-1002 (E.D. Mo. Oct. 2, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
Update on New York State's Paid Family Benefits Leave Law
"With a little over two months until the law takes effect, employers should ensure that their leave policies and benefit claims procedures conform with the new PFL and that written policies are updated to include PFL information. Those responsible for administering leave should be trained on compliance and coordination with other policies. Payroll managers should be prepared to deduct the modest employee contribution ... that will fund PFL. Finally, employers should confirm that they have secured insurance coverage for PFL." (Olshan)
Changing of the Leaves: EEOC Again Pushes for Additional Leave as ADA Accommodation
"[T]he EEOC believes that leave is a reasonable accommodation and automatic termination when FMLA leave runs out violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even though at least one federal court has made clear it disagrees, the EEOC continues to press the point and has recently filed a lawsuit against the Blood Bank of Hawaii for failure to provide reasonable accommodations for and then firing employees who required additional leave time for their disabilities." (Bradley)
Worker Not Entitled to Multi-Month Leave After FMLA Exhaustion
"Though the EEOC filed a brief as amicus curiae urging for reversal, the appeals court rejected its assertion that long-term leave should be considered a reasonable accommodation when certain circumstances are met, since adopting such a position would transform the ADA into a medical-leave statute, which was 'an untenable interpretation of the term 'reasonable accommodation.' " [Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., No. 15-3754 (7th Cir. Sept. 20, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
Two Seventh Circuit Decisions Scale Back an Employee's Right to Take Additional Leave After FMLA Is Exhausted
"In analyzing [one] ADA claim, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that a 'brief' period of leave to deal with a medical condition could be an accommodation in some situations. But, the court also made clear that long-term leaves of absence fit securely within the 'domain' of the FMLA, not the ADA. And in doing so, it set out a fairly bright-line rule ... [W]eeks after [this] was decided, the same appellate court doubled down on its position that the ADA was not a leave of absence statute and that leave beyond a couple of weeks simply is not required under the ADA." (FMLA Insights)
IBM Beefs Up Family Benefits, Doubles Paid Parental Leave
"The tech giant announced Wednesday that paid parental leave for new mothers is increasing from 14 to 20 weeks, while fathers, partners and adoptive parents will get a boost from six to 12 weeks. The extended leave applies to both full- and part-time U.S. workers, and retroactively applies to parents whose children were born after November 2016. IBM said employees can choose to take the bonding leave any time during the first year after the birth or adoption." (Employee Benefit News)
[Opinion] Testimony of ERIC to Council of the District of Columbia About DC's Paid Leave Law
"ERIC urges the Council not to adopt any proposed legislation that would further increase the administrative and compliance burdens on large employers already providing paid leave benefits to their employees. Likewise, large employers' flexibility and ability to design their own leave benefits that meet the needs of their business and workforce should not be infringed." (The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC])
[Guidance Overview] Update on Washington State Paid Sick Leave, Effective January 1, 2018
"Beginning January 1, 2018, all employers in Washington State must provide non-exempt employees with paid sick leave under a new state law, Initiative 1433. The [state's] Department of Labor and Industries recently released ... [final rules which] clarify that employers may not impose caps on accrual or use of sick leave required by the law. The rules also require that employers promulgate written policies if they intend to require verification of illness (only allowed after three consecutive absences), or if employees must provide advance notice of the need for leave." (Davis Wright Tremaine LLP)
[Guidance Overview] NY City Council Passes Bill to Expand Coverage Under the Earned Sick Time Act
"The New York City Council has passed a bill that would amend the NYC Earned Sick Time Act to expand the covered reasons for leave to include situations where an employee or an employee's family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses, stalking or human trafficking. The bill would also expand the definition of a covered family member under the law. The bill ... is now before Mayor Bill deBlasio for signature. The amendments would take effect 180 days after signing." (Proskauer)
Is an 'Honest Belief' of FMLA Misuse Enough for Termination?
"The court concluded that it is enough if the employer provides evidence that the reason for the adverse employment action was an honest belief that the employee was misusing FMLA leave, regardless of whether that belief turned out to be true." [Capps v. Mondelez Global, LLC, No. 15-3839 (3rd Cir. Jan. 30, 2017)] (Pepper Hamilton LLP)
[Guidance Overview] New York State Issues Forms for Implementing Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PDF)
"New York State recently released several forms for use by employers and employees under the Paid Family Leave Benefits Law, which becomes effective on January 1, 2018. The forms include [1] a waiver for employees who are ineligible to receive benefits under the Law to opt out of contributions, [2] a leave request form, and [3] certification forms for various circumstances under which leave can be taken. In addition, the state released two forms for employers that are exempt from providing mandatory coverage under the Law but wish to voluntarily provide coverage[.]" (Epstein Becker Green)
Court Allows FMLA Claim by Veteran Fired Just Days After Receiving 70 Percent Disability Rating
"A veteran fired from his job at a car dealership just days after he received a letter from the VA rating his post-traumatic stress disorder as 70 percent disabling can proceed to trial on his FMLA interference and retaliation claims ... Citing evidence he was told '[W]e're going to have to part ways ... due to you not being a hundred percent while you're here, being on the medications that you're on and missing work for appointments at the VA, we need to let you go,' a federal district court in Illinois denied his employer's summary judgment motion in large part." [Carlson v. Sexton Ford Sales, Inc., No. 15-4227 (C.D. Ill. Sept. 26, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Inferior Parental Leave Policies Can Result in Discrimination Claims
"[T]he EEOC views leave related to any pregnancy or childbirth-related physical limitations differently from leave for purposes of child bonding or care. Although the Estee Lauder case has not been fully litigated, the EEOC's recent lawsuit is a reminder, as the EEOC stated in its press release, that 'federal law requires equal pay, including benefits, for equal work, and that applies to men as well as women.' " (McDermott Will & Emery)
[Guidance Overview] Smaller Employers in California Required to Provide Job-Protected Unpaid Parental Leave Starting January 1, 2018
"The new law essentially expands coverage to employers with between 20 and 49 employees 'within 75 miles' -- that is, employers who are too small to be covered under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), both of which apply to employers with 50 or more employees.... The 12 weeks of leave provided by this law is in addition to the up to 4 months of pregnancy disability leave (PDL) available to employees working for an employer covered by the California PDL law, i.e. employers with five or more employees." (Mintz Levin)
When You Don't Train Your Managers About the FMLA, You're Begging for This Kind of Smackdown
"When a manager learns that one of his employees is in the hospital for several days, that's almost always enough information for the employer to have an inkling that the employee may need FMLA leave. But one employer didn't think so. And the penalty for its mistake was costly.... Because the court found that the employer willfully violated the FMLA, it awarded [the employee] liquidated damages, which doubled [the] back pay award." [Boadi v. Center for Human Development, Inc., No. 14-30162 (D. Mass. Sept. 21, 2017)] (FMLA Insights)
[Guidance Overview] Model Leave Request, Certification and Waiver Forms Issued for the New York Paid Family Leave Law
"On the Form PFL-1, employees will be required to provide certain information in support of the leave request ... [Part B] must be completed by the employer and returned back to the employee within three business days.... [E]mployers will be required to provide a breakdown of the employee's last 8 weeks of gross wages and the resulting average weekly wage ... [It] will then be the employee's responsibility to submit the form, along with any required supporting documentation, to the employer's PFL carrier (in the case of a self-insured employer, the Form PFL-1 would be retained and processed by the employer)." (Proskauer)
Paid Family Leave Policies May Not All Be Equal
"If your company has a family leave policy that goes beyond the legal requirements of the [FMLA], does that policy need to apply to all employee levels equally? No. But as Starbucks is currently experiencing, your company may face some questions about why corporate executives have a more favorable paid family leave policy than lower-level employees." (Bradley)
[Guidance Overview] New York City Council Expands Earned Sick Time Law to Include Safe Time
"While the Earned Sick Time Act continues to be refined by administrative rules and other agency guidance, [a recent amendment to the law] imposes an additional set of covered circumstances in which employers must allow employees to use paid time off ... [These include] absences from work resulting from the employee or a covered family member of the employee being the victim of family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
In New York State It May Be the Right Time to Outsource Your Leave Management Programs
"There are several scenarios in which an employee can take advantage of [Paid Family Leave (PFL)] along with other disability benefits and Family Medical Leave (FML).... PFL goes into effect January 1, 2018 and will gradually increase to full benefits by 2021 ... Bundling PFL and FML with disability plans ensures that all claims are adjudicated consistently and fairly. It also provides enhanced clinical expertise and streamlined claim administration that often generates improved disability outcomes, while ensuring compliance with both state and federal laws." (Frenkel Benefits)
Sixth Circuit Finds Firing While on FMLA Was Not Because of Leave
"Even assuming that a city manager had notified the city council that she was going on FMLA leave ... the Sixth Circuit [said] ... the employer demonstrated a legitimate reason for terminating [the city manager] -- it cited her role in 'causing political strife in the community.' Moreover, it was questionable that she had provided FMLA notice since there was evidence she refused to take and complete the city's FMLA forms, and it was suggested that she was only going to take a few days off and work from home." [Mullendore v. City of Belding, No. 16-2198 (6th Cir. Aug. 23, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
[Guidance Overview] California Expands Parental Leave to Smaller Employers
"The New Parent Leave Act significantly expands required parental leave, which previously only applied to businesses with at least 50 employees. Interpretation of the new law should be consistent with the California Family Rights Act. Employers may now participate in a temporary parental leave mediation program if sued by an employee.... On October 13, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 63 (SB 63), which extends certain leave requirements to businesses that employ at least 20 people who work within a 75-mile radius of a worksite." (Latham & Watkins)
D.C. Considering Changes to Its Generous Paid Leave Law
"[C]ity council members who support the leave law have introduced five bills that would alter the structure and funding of the program. One bill would lower the payroll tax and allow businesses with existing leave programs to opt out of the city-run program. Other bills would set a legal requirement that leave be offered, but let employers find their own ways to pay for it." (HR Policy Association)
[Guidance Overview] California Will Require Small Businesses to Provide 12 Weeks of Unpaid, Protected Leave for Baby Bonding Purposes
"The Act applies to private, state and municipal employers that directly employ 20 to 49 employees within 75 miles of each other. To be eligible, employees must have more than 12 months of service and at least 1,250 hours of service with the covered employer during the 12-month period prior to commencing leave.... [C]overed employers must provide 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave upon the request of eligible employees to bond with a new child within one year of the child's birth, adoption or foster care placement." (Littler)
Massachusetts Federal Court Decision Highlights Importance of FMLA Training and Compliance
"[T]he court determined that an employer and a supervisor were liable for liquidated damages on an employee's interference claim under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), essentially doubling the employee's recovery. Employers should be aware of Boadi to avoid not only FMLA liability, but also heightened exposure under its liquidated damages provision." [Boadi v. Center for Human Development, Inc., No. 14-30162 (D. Mass. Sept. 21, 2017)] (Ogletree Deakins)
Rhode Island Governor Signs Legislation Guaranteeing Paid Sick Leave
"Starting in 2018, Rhode Island employees will be guaranteed three days of paid sick leave. The mandated paid sick time only applies to businesses with 18 or more employees. The number of guaranteed paid sick days will jump to four days in 2019, and five days in 2020." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
Does Your Paid Leave Policy Deter Midcareer Hires?
"Nearly 37% of respondent organizations reported that no special consideration is given to midcareer hires. But take heart, Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers, the news isn't all bad if you are looking to make a career change: 33.9% are offered additional paid time off (PTO) on a case-by-case basis.Talking Benefits Podcast 20.1% are offered the option to take unpaid days. 10.3% are provided additional paid time off based on position. 8.7% are offered additional paid time off based on relevant experience and skill level. 2% are offered the option to purchase additional time off." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])
[Guidance Overview] New York Paid Family Leave Law -- a Comprehensive Breakdown for Employers
"[W]hat does this law do again? ... What are my obligations to secure PFL insurance overage? ... Why does the law permit me to take deductions before January 1, 2018?... What are my obligations to inform employees of their PFL rights?... What do employees have to do to claim paid family leave?... How does the employee receive payment?... When an employee goes out on PFL, what are my obligations? ... How does PFL intersect with other types of leave?" (Mintz Levin)
Employers Still Favor Traditional Paid Leave Menu
"[A] majority of employers continue to offer paid leave benefits to employees through traditional plans, but a sizable portion of the surveyed organizations have opted instead for paid time off plans.... [T]he median amount of paid sick leave workers can expect during their first year on the job is nine days ... [A] majority of employers' sick leave policies extend beyond personal illness to cover such events as medical appointments, disability leave, and care of a family member." (Bloomberg BNA)
Eight States with Sick Leave Laws: What Employers Should Know
"Paid sick leave laws ... typically grant employees a minimum number of paid sick hours or days each year, and govern the permissible reasons for employees to take such leave. [This article includes] a snapshot of the states that have passed paid sick-leave laws and what you should know about them." (Polsinelli PC)
Nearly One-Third of Employers Offer Vacation Time Donation
"30 percent of employers with paid vacation allow workers to donate paid vacation days; 28 percent of employers offering paid-time-off (PTO) plans allow workers to donate paid time off; and 22 percent of employers who provide paid sick leave allow workers to donate sick leave.... 3 percent of those offering PTO and less than 1 percent of those offering vacation time, allow employees to donate the cash value of unused paid time off to charitable organizations." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
How to Address Intermittent Leave Under the FMLA
"[1] Address scheduling issues early in the process.... [2] Provide the healthcare provider with necessary information.... [3] Recertify FMLA leave every six months.... [4] Enforce company call-in policies and procedures.... [5] Consider a transfer when appropriate." (McDonald Hopkins)
[Guidance Overview] Rhode Island Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law
"Employers with fewer than 18 employees are not required to provide paid time off ... [C]overed employers must allow employees to use paid sick time: [1] For an employee's or family member's illness, injury, or health condition; [2] When the employee's workplace or a child's school is closed due to a public health emergency; and [3] For reasons relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2017-62: Treatment of Amounts Paid to Section 170(C) Organizations Under Employer Leave-Based Donation Programs to Aid Victims of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Maria (PDF)
"The [IRS] will not assert that cash payments an employer makes to Section 170(c) organizations in exchange for vacation, sick, or personal leave that its employees elect to forgo constitute gross income or wages of the employees if the payments are: [1] made to the Section 170(c) organizations for the relief of victims of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Maria; and [2] paid to the Section 170(c) organizations before January 1, 2019.... Cash payments to which this guidance applies need not be included in Box 1, 3 (if applicable), or 5 of the Form W-2" (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Considerations for Policymakers in the Design of Paid Family and Medical Leave Systems
"[T]he main choices are between a social insurance approach and an employer mandate ... Most state programs currently in place, and most programs in advanced economies around the world, have been structured as social insurance programs.... One policy consideration that must be weighed is whether or not to allow employers, or employees, to opt out of a paid leave program.... [A]nother consideration, particularly in a social insurance structure funded exclusively by employees, is whether or not to include an employee opt-out provision." (National Academy of Social Insurance [NASI])
Employee Challenges Change in Duties After FMLA Leave
"A former Pennsylvania school district employee may proceed with his claim that the district interfered with his rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by failing to place him in the same position after he returned from leave, according to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Further, the court held that the former business manager may continue with his claim that the school district did not provide a reasonable accommodation for his heart condition under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)." [Kordistos v. Mt. Lebanon Sch. Dist., No. 16-615 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 21, 2017)] (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
[Opinion] Is Paid Family and Medical Leave Inevitable? Perhaps, But There's a Long Way to Go
"The Trump administration and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Congress have released competing paid-leave proposals this year. Additional states have enacted paid-leave laws. More large employers have expanded paid-leave benefits. And public support continues to grow." (Health Affairs)
[Guidance Overview] California State and City Paid Sick Leave Laws (PDF)
12-page chart, summarizing and comparing rules imposed by the State of California and seven of its municipalities, including Los Angeles. Updated Oct. 2017. (Fox Rothschild LLP)
[Guidance Overview] On the Rhode Again: Paid Sick Leave Drought Ends with New Rhode Island Law
"The Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act sets statewide standards. The provisions become operative on July 1, 2018, giving employers less than one year to review existing, or create new, policies to comply with the law.... The law requires employers with 18 or more employees in Rhode Island to allow employees to accrue and use paid sick and safe leave. It is unclear whether the law imposes unpaid leave requirements on smaller employers. It is hoped that the labor department will clarify this issue via guidance or regulations." (Littler)
Signing Release to Settle Workers' Comp Claim Did Not Waive Right to File FMLA Claims
"Pointing to the plain language and structure of a settlement agreement, which made clear it was to settle any 'work injury claims' arising from an employee's prior injury, the Third Circuit concluded that the release did not bar the employee's lawsuit, which alleged that the employer failed to notify him of his FMLA rights, failed to designate his leave as FMLA-protected, and fired him for exercising his FMLA and workers' compensation rights. He was not bringing an additional 'work injury claim,' explained the court, reversing the dismissal of his suit." [Zuber v. Boscov's, No. 16-3217 (3d Cir. Sept. 11, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
[Guidance Overview] Is Your Business Ready for the New York State Paid Family Leave Law?
"Starting January 1, 2018, paid family leave (PFL) becomes a mandatory benefit throughout New York State, providing job-protected paid time off to employees to [1] bond with a new child, [2] care for a family member with a serious health condition, or [3] address family matters due to a qualifying military exigency. All private employers (including those located outside New York State) with one or more employees in New York State are required to comply[.]" (Duane Morris LLP)
Hospital Employee's Agreement to Six-Month Limitations Period Can't Bar FMLA Claim
"Refusing to reconsider the denial of a hospital's motion to dismiss a fired employee's FMLA claim as untimely under a six-month contractual limitations period, a federal court in Michigan reiterated that the FMLA and its regulations provide a two-year limitations period and forbid an employer from interfering with or restraining any right under the Act, which includes the right to file suit within two years." [White v. Detroit Medical Center, No. 15-13829, (E.D. Mich. Aug. 9, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

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