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Benefits in the News > By Subject >

Family and medical leave, incl. FMLA

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Recent Headlines

Paid Family Leave in the United States
"California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have already adopted their own programs, and next year paid family leave will be provided in New York.... Under the president's proposal, states would be allowed to design the paid leave program for their own jurisdictions as long as the benefits meet minimum standards.... Although the funding methods for paid family leave have not yet been specified ... mechanisms could vary from state to state, and the options may include funding through general tax revenues, a specific new tax, employer-paid premiums, or employee-paid premiums." (Milliman)
Come Fly with Me: The FMLA and a Grounded Flight Attendant
"[T]he more an employee exercises her FMLA rights, the more courts -- or at least the 10th Circuit -- will expect her to be aware of those rights and the less strictly the FMLA notification requirements will be enforced against her employer. Furthermore ... the FMLA does not necessarily stand as a bar to appropriate disciplinary action -- provided the discipline is justified and is not merely a pretext (excuse) to hide illegal interference. Indeed, as this case shows, an employee on 'Final Warning' who violates a notice-of-absence policy cannot use the FMLA to hide from appropriate discipline." [Branham v. Delta Airlines, No. 16-4092 (10th Cir. Feb. 3, 2017)] (HRDailyAdvisor)
[Guidance Overview] Paid Family Leave in the United States (PDF)
15 pages. "This report provides an overview of paid family leave in the United States, summarizes state-level family leave insurance programs, notes paid family leave policies in other advanced-economy countries, and notes recent federal proposals to increase access to paid family leave." [CRS Report R44835, May 24, 2017] (Congressional Research Service [CRS])
[Opinion] Trump's Paid Parental Leave Proposal Is Not Enough
"[The] White House budget proposal includes something unprecedented in a Republican president's budget -- a proposal for paid parental leave.... But the proposal is as out of touch as the rest of the budget. The paid leave proposal provides inadequate time to care, excludes people caring for a sick relative or their own serious illness, fails to create a national baseline, and is paid for on the backs of those who have lost their jobs." (The Century Foundation)
President's Proposed Budget Seeks Six Weeks of Paid Leave for All Families
"[If] the president has his way, employees will be eligible to receive up to six weeks of paid parental leave by the year 2020. However, employers will not be on the hook to provide the compensation for this program. Instead, the administration proposes that paid parental leave would be 'fully offset' by a package of reforms to the state unemployment insurance system. While specific legislation still needs to be developed and approved by Congress to install this program, this marks the first time that such a leave proposal has been advanced in a presidential budget." (Fisher Phillips)
Pittsburgh to Appeal Block of City's Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
"The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has affirmed a lower court's ruling invalidating the Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act (PSDA), the ordinance adopted in 2015 requiring all employers of employees within the Pittsburgh city limits to provide paid sick leave to all full- and part-time employees. The Mayor's office has confirmed that it will appeal the May 17, 2017, court decision.... While the issue of the PSDA's validity ultimately may reach Pennsylvania's high court, a Senate bill under consideration would render the PSDA (and its Philadelphia counterpart) null and void." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
Minnesota Legislature Gives Up on Bill to Preempt Cities' Safe and Sick Leave Ordinances
"[T]he preemption bill will be presented separately to Governor Dayton, who has pledged to veto it. Since the legislature's regular session ended at midnight on Monday, May 22, 2017 ... it appears that the preemption bill is dead for this session. This means that the Minneapolis and St. Paul ordinances slated to take effect on July 1, 2017, will become effective on that date." (Ogletree Deakins)
[Guidance Overview] Georgia's New Family Care Act: Using Paid Leave for Sick Family Members
"The new law does not create an obligation for employers to provide sick leave to employees. Instead, it requires employers that already give their workers paid sick leave to permit a portion of the leave -- up to five days per calendar year -- to be used for caring for the eligible employees' immediate family members.... Importantly, the Family Care Act does not contain any enforcement or penalty provisions and it expressly states that it does not create a new cause of action against an employer." (Troutman Sanders)
[Guidance Overview] San Francisco Issues Guidance on Paid Parental Leave Ordinance
"[T]he new FAQs clarify that: [1] To receive the benefits prescribed by Ordinance, employees must apply for both California PFL and San Francisco Ordinance benefits.... [2] [E]mployees must have: commenced work for a covered employer at least 180 days before the start of the PFL payment period; worked at least 8 hours per week for the covered employer; and worked in San Francisco at least 40% of his or her weekly hours for the covered employer. [3] The threshold number of employees that triggers the requirements of the Ordinance for employers includes employees working or located outside of San Francisco." (Proskauer Rose LLP)
[Guidance Overview] California Labor Commissioner Issues New Guidance on Paid Sick Leave
"[T]he Commissioner confirmed that if, at the time the law became effective, an employer already had an existing PTO plan that made an amount of paid leave available that could be used for as many or more days and under the same or more favorable conditions than those specified in the law, that employer may continue to use the PTO plan and does not have to provide additional paid sick days in order to satisfy the law's requirements.... [T]he Commissioner clarified that the law ... prohibits disciplinary action only with respect to an employee's use of accrued and available paid sick leave under the statute." (Proskauer Rose LLP)
Trump Budget Will Include Paid Family Leave Proposal
"President Trump's 2018 budget ... will seek $25 billion for states to create paid family leave programs through their unemployment insurance programs, potentially providing up to six weeks of paid leave for mothers and fathers after the birth or adoption of a child." (HR Policy Association)
New York Employers Must Prepare for Paid Family Leave Program
"The Empire State will join California, New Jersey and Rhode Island in offering paid family leave that is funded through employee payroll taxes and administered by the state disability program.... Employers are supposed to start making payroll deductions for the fund in mid-2017[.]" (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
Appeals Court Affirms Ruling that Pittsburgh's Paid Sick Days Ordinance is Invalid
"On May 17, 2017, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court upheld a 2015 trial court ruling that the City of Pittsburgh did not have the authority under state law to enact the Paid Sick Days Ordinance.... [The] Ordinance ... would require employers to provide employees with a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours an employee works in the city limits[.]" (Littler)
GM Didn't Violate FMLA by Suspending Electrician Who Failed to Follow Union-Negotiated Policy for Calling In Absences
"An employee who was approved for intermittent FMLA leave, and subsequently placed on several weeks of unpaid suspensions for failing to follow company policy for timely reporting unplanned absences, failed to revive his claims of FMLA interference since the FMLA and accompanying regulations require employees to follow their employer's 'usual and customary' procedures for requesting FMLA leave absent 'unusual circumstances'[.]" [Acker v. General Motors, LLC, No. 16-11174 (5th Cir. Apr. 10, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
[Guidance Overview] Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors (PDF)
"Obligations of the contractor would include allowing employees to accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked on, or in connection with, a covered contract, for a total of 56 hours per year. Contractors would be required to inform each employee of their unused but accrued sick leave at least once a pay period, or once a month, whichever interval is shorter, and may not deny an employee's request to use any or all of his or her accrued sick leave.... Contractors will also be required to make and maintain records for no less than three years from the completion of a covered contract for inspection by an authorized representative of the DOL." (EY)
[Guidance Overview] Paid Family Leave Expands to DC
"The Act applies to nearly all private employers in DC, regardless of size, and, beginning July 2020, will provide certain employees with employer-funded paid leave for up to [1] eight weeks to care for a new child (by birth, adoption, or foster care placement), [2] six weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition, and [3] two weeks for personal illness.... Efforts to modify the Act are already underway." (Andrews Kurth)
[Guidance Overview] Draft Regs Issued for Illinois Cook County's Ordinance on Paid Sick Leave
"Employers may define the 'accrual period.' ... Employees must be eligible for [FMLA] to qualify for Ordinance's FMLA-restricted earned sick leave.... Employees working in municipalities that opted out of the Ordinance still may be covered.... Employers are not required to allow accrual for time working outside Cook County or in municipalities that opted out.... Employers may be covered even if they do not have a place of business in Cook County.... Employers may not limit how an employee can provide notice of a foreseeable absence.... Pre-existing paid time off policies may satisfy an employer's obligations." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
[Guidance Overview] Georgia Enacts Kin Care Law
"The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2017, applies to employers with over 25 employees and to those employees who work at least 30 hours per week. When the law takes effect, qualifying employees will be entitled to use up to 5 days of paid sick leave per year to care for the needs of their immediate family members. Employees still must use their sick leave in accordance with the terms of their employer's policy and are only entitled to use accrued sick leave." (Littler)
[Guidance Overview] Georgia's New Sick Leave Law Appears to Be More Bark Than Bite
"The law specifically states that employees are not permitted to take more sick leave than they already have earned.... Moreover, employees are still required to follow the terms of the company sick leave policy ... Essentially, the new law merely means that an employer should not have a policy which states 'sick time can only be used for the employee's own illness and not to care for others.' " (Fisher Phillips)
New Georgia Law Allows Employees to Use Sick Leave for Care of Family Members
"On May 8, 2017, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law a new statute requiring certain employers to allow their employees to use up to five days of their available paid sick leave to care for immediate family members. This new law will take effect on July 1, 2017.... The new law does not contain any enforcement or penalty provisions and states that it shall not be construed to create a new cause of action against an employer." (Kilpatrick Townsend)
Sixth Circuit Extends 'Cat's Paw' Liability Theory to FMLA Retaliation Claims
"[T]he Sixth Circuit has applied the cat's paw theory in a variety of discrimination cases and has assumed, without deciding, that the theory is available in [FMLA] retaliation cases. Now ... a Sixth Circuit panel has held that the cat's paw theory applies to FMLA retaliation claims, recognizing that 'a company's organizational chart does not always accurately reflect its decisionmaking process,' and that sometimes subordinate employees 'may have significant influence over the decisionmaker.' " [Marshall v. The Rawlings Co. LLC, No. 16-5614 (6th Cir. Apr. 20, 2017)] (Littler)
[Opinion] Paid Family Leave in the United States: Time for a New National Policy (PDF)
18 pages. "Positive outcomes from paid family leave are emerging from programs in California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Yet, policy choices must be made to refine and implement a national program of paid family leave. These choices include who should be covered, how high should benefit amounts be, how long should they be paid, how should benefits be funded and administered, and should job protections be expanded? [The authors] review evidence from current state programs to help policymakers as they consider plans for a national paid leave policy." (Urban Institute)
The Paid Family Leave Train: Next Stop, New York -- Final Destination, All States?
"On January 1, 2018, New York will join California, New Jersey and Rhode Island as the fourth state to provide paid family leave. This benefit will be incorporated under the state's statutory disability policy. Momentum is building throughout the country, and this may soon be law for all U.S. citizens." (Willis Towers Watson)
[Guidance Overview] A Primer on New York's Impending Paid Family Leave: Are Employers Prepared?
"Private employers with at least one employee will be required to provide PFL benefits under the new law. Employers may choose to either purchase a PFL insurance policy to be financed through employee payroll deductions or to self-insure. Employers may begin collecting the weekly employee contribution on July 1, 2017.... Employees may not opt out, except in the limited circumstance where an employee's regular work schedule is less than the threshold for eligibility (e.g., short term or temporary employees)." (Fisher Phillips)
[Guidance Overview] Attendance Policies May Interfere With State and Local Paid Sick Leave Laws in California
"Many employers enforce attendance policies which assign an 'occurrence' for unscheduled, unapproved absences. Although employers generally have discretion to implement attendance policies, such policies should be carefully crafted to avoid running afoul of antidiscrimination and antiretaliation provisions found in certain state and local paid sick leave laws." (Ogletree Deakins)
Just Like the Flu, Paid Sick Leave Laws Don't Seem to Want to Go Away
"Earlier this month, the Nevada Senate approved a bill for three paid sick days yearly.... Similarly, in the last month the Maryland House of Delegates approved a sick leave bill previously passed by the Maryland Senate which has now been sent to the governor for approval.... Arizona, St. Paul (Minnesota), Minneapolis (Minnesota), Cook County (Illinois) and Chicago (Illinois) have paid sick leave laws scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2017. Los Angeles, California's paid sick leave law went into effect last year for larger employers but smaller employers received a delay to comply until July 1, 2017. Berkeley, California's paid sick time leave accrual provisions go into effect on October 1, 2017. Washington state's paid sick leave accrual and entitlement provisions begin on January 1, 2018." (Snell & Wilmer)
38% of Organizations Offer Employees a Separate Paid Parental Leave Benefit
"38% of employers offer a defined paid parental leave benefit for use by new-parent employees to recover from the birth of a child and/or to care for or bond with a new child. This leave is distinct from all other paid leave programs and employees do not need to use or exhaust other paid time or earnings to use this benefit. The average time of paid parental leave allotted to eligible, full-time new-parent employees is 4.1 weeks.... 86% of respondents, offer employer-sponsored disability insurance that compensates birth mothers during their medical recovery." (WorldatWork)
Big Business Asks Congress for Protection from Paid Leave Laws
"During the 2016 presidential campaign, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton pledged their support for more paid family leave. Now big business is countering the calls with a proposal of its own: Congress should establish a certain optional amount of paid leave and, if companies meet that threshold, they should be protected from state or local laws that might require more." (Treasury & Risk; free registration may be required)
Federal Contractors Still Burdened with Paid Sick Leave Requirements
"The DOL regulations created a complex set of rules that are difficult to understand and administer, which often lead diligent contractors to do more than is necessary out of fear of non-compliance. Which federal contractors are affected by these regulations? ... How is sick leave allocated under the regulations? ... How can paid sick leave be used under the regulations?" (Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP)
Measuring Temporal Proximity from Last (Not First) Day of Leave Revives FMLA Retaliation Claim
"An employee who was given extended medical leave when he was unable to return without medical restrictions at the expiration of his 12-week FMLA leave and then fired upon his return -- after management discovered he had posted Facebook photos of himself on the beach and at a theme park while he was out -- revived his FMLA retaliation claim. Reversing summary judgment, the Eleventh Circuit announced that the temporal proximity analysis begins on the last day of the employee's leave, and that the one-month period here suggested a retaliatory motive." [Jones v. Gulf Coast Health Care of Delaware, LLC, No. 16-11142 (11th Cir. Apr. 19, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer)
Sixth Circuit: Cat's Paw Theory Applies to FMLA Retaliation Claims
"[A] divided Sixth Circuit found the court below erred in granting summary judgment against the FMLA and ADA retaliation claims of an employee demoted and then fired after taking time off for mental health issues. Fact issues existed as to whether her supervisors influenced an intermediate decisionmaker's demotion decision and as to whether the supervisors influenced the intermediate decisionmaker, who then influenced the company owner's decision to fire the employee." [Marshall v. The Rawlings Co. LLC, No. 16-5614 (6th Cir. Apr. 20, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer)
[Guidance Overview] District of Columbia Enacts the Universal Paid Leave Act
"After making it through the congressional review period, the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 became effective on April 7, 2017. The Act provides covered employees with 8 weeks of paid parental leave, 6 weeks of paid family leave, and 2 weeks of paid personal medical leave. The paid leave will be funded by a 0.62% increase in DC employer payroll taxes." (Littler)
[Guidance Overview] Government Contractor Paid Leave Accrual: Does It Apply to Your Employees? If So, What Does It Require?
"While it remains to be seen whether the Trump Administration will withdraw or modify the Executive Order and its implementing regulations, it has been in effect now for more than three months.... [This article examines] what contracts/subcontracts are not covered. For those that are covered, [the authors] look at which employees are subject to the accrual and use requirement, and what are the parameters of accrual and use of leave." (Fisher Phillips)
[Guidance Overview] Minneapolis and St. Paul Sick and Safe Time Ordinances
"[P]roposed rules that apply to both the Minneapolis ordinance and the St. Paul ordinance: [1] Employers must keep records and bear the ultimate burden of proving which employees do not qualify for paid sick and safe time. [2] Employers in both cities are not required to offer paid sick and safe time leave to covered employees for hours worked outside of the city.... [3] Employers may satisfy the requirements of both ordinances by adopting a general paid time off policy which lumps sick and safe time with other paid leaves as long as the policy meets the minimum ordinance obligations. [4] Complaints under both ordinances must be filed within one year of the violation." (Gray Plant Mooty)
Already 'Locked Out' Over Supervisor's Concerns, Employee Failed to Revive FMLA Claim
"An employee with a known anxiety disorder failed to plausibly allege that her termination was triggered by an email to her supervisor stating she'd be 'out sick,' the First Circuit ruled in affirming dismissal of her FMLA retaliation claim. Her pleadings had painted a picture of a longstanding and emotionally fraught dispute with her supervisor, who had encouraged her to take medical leave in the past and had recently expressed fear that she might bring a gun to work. She had also been denied entry to a work building just days before she sent the 'out sick' email, causing her to fear imminent termination." [Germanowski v. Harris, No. 16-1306 (1st Cir. Apr. 12, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer)
Federal Contractor Sick Leave Order Survives Under Trump, for Now
"Trump administration officials discussed revising or repealing the paid sick leave order and the DOL's implementing rules during earlier stages of the transition ... But in recent weeks, the regulation has taken a back seat, as employer advocates and GOP lawmakers turned their attention to repealing the controversial overtime, fiduciary and 'blacklisting' rules." (Bloomberg BNA)
[Guidance Overview] Draft Regs Issued for Earned Sick Leave Ordinance in Cook County, Illinois
"[T]he draft regulations ... [provide] a complicated process for calculating the amount of carryover for covered employees of covered employers subject to the FMLA and the conditions for using that carryover time ... [As] an alternative to accrual and carryover, employers subject to the FMLA may comply with the ordinance by frontloading 60 hours of earned sick leave for use as permitted by the ordinance and 40 hours of earned sick leave for use as FMLA leave. As a practical matter, it is still unclear how these regulations are to be administered." (Ogletree Deakins)
South Carolina Blocks Local Municipalities from Passing Paid Leave Requirements
"17 states have passed legislation banning local paid sick leave laws similar to South Carolina's. These include Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon (except for employers with less than 10 employees), Tennessee, and Wisconsin." (Ogletree Deakins)
Coordinating FMLA with State and Federal Laws
"Many state FMLA laws follow the federal FMLA almost verbatim. However, many others differ in the following various respects, including that they may: [1] Apply to smaller organizations; [2] Require you to allow more time off; [2] Cover different reasons for leave, such as domestic violence or school conferences; [4] Cover different people; or [5] Require paid leave. If both FMLA and state law apply to the same situation, the employer is required to follow the law that gives the employee greater rights." (HRDailyAdvisor)
[Opinion] ERIC Letter to Nevada State Senators on Proposed Paid Sick Leave Legislation
"Nevada Senate Bill 196, which provides for paid sick leave to employees of private employers, works against large employers in several ways, including: [1] a lack of guidance on eligible employee; [2] requiring the carryover of accrued sick leave, even when sick leave is front-loaded; [3] mandating the tracking of employees' accrued sick leave; and [4] providing no clear definition of who a family member is for purposes of care." (The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC])
A Diamond in the Rough (Part 2): What the Eleventh Circuit Said about FMLA Retaliation Claims
"If there is a performance problem, be sure to focus on performance while the employee is at work -- not what they are not accomplishing because of the leave.... [If] you find that the employee's job performance is not great, you may need to issue a warning or two before you terminate.... Put some distance between the leave and any ultimate employment action.... If someone's FMLA leave is 'contentious' -- maybe it was challenging, caused some operational problems, etc. -- look closely before taking a subsequent adverse employment action. Those actions almost always end up costing more than expected." [Diamond v. Hospice of Florida Keys, Inc., No. 15-15716 (11th Cir. Jan. 27, 2017; unpub.)] (Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP)
[Opinion] ERIC Comment Letter to State of New York Workers' Compensation Board on Proposed Rules to the State's Paid Family Leave Program (PDF)
"Employers offering paid family leave should have the flexibility to decide whether their policies cover workers other than full-time employees.... The definition of care recipient, or the family member whom employees may use leave to care for, requires employers to do more than what federal law mandates.... The requirement that employees be in close and continuing proximity to the care recipient should be clarified to inform employees that it must be 'physical proximity.' " (The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC])
Paid Family Leave: Is Your Company Aware of the Latest Ordinances?
"New York's law will be the strongest state family leave law in the nation. Once in full effect, it will provide up to 12 weeks of paid job secured leave. Further, Washington D.C. is considering a plan similar to San Francisco's and a Wisconsin State Senator recently proposed legislation to create state leave insurance which would allow employees to take paid family leave for up to 12 weeks when welcoming a new child. A number of smaller localities have also enacted or are considering similar initiatives." (Foley & Lardner LLP)
Fired While His Premature Baby Was Being Delivered, Employee's FMLA Claim Fails for Lack of Notice
"Granting summary judgment against an FMLA interference claim by an employee who was fired while his partner was in labor for their child's birth, a federal magistrate judge in Ohio explained that childbirth is a foreseeable event and he failed to give the required 30 days' notice of the need for FMLA leave. Even if the induction of labor three weeks early due to preeclampsia was unforeseeable, the employee did not give notice as soon as practicable--he only emailed after his supervisor repeatedly tried to contact him, and in that responsive email the employee made no mention of taking family leave." [Wilson v. Dynasplint Systems, Inc., No. 14-310 (S.D. Ohio Apr. 3, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer)
All in the FAMILY: Small Businesses Support National Paid Leave Program
"7 in 10 owners and operators of small businesses support the recently reintroduced Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would establish a federal paid leave insurance program funded by modest contributions from employers and employees. Nearly half -- 47 percent -- say they strongly favor this type of program, which would ensure that employees could receive part of their salary for up to 12 weeks when they need to take time off to recover from a serious illness or to care for a new child or a sick family member." (Morning Consult)
Coordinating FMLA with USERRA
"As a general rule, when the FMLA overlaps with other laws, the employer must follow the law that gives the employee the greatest benefits or is most favorable to the employee.... USERRA requires employers to grant up to 5 years of unpaid leave to employees for active military duty. By contrast, the FMLA entitles employees to 12 weeks of leave for a qualifying exigency and up to 26 weeks of military caregiver leave." (HRDailyAdvisor)
Illinois Catches the Paid Sick Leave Bill Bug
"Under the proposed law ... employees would be entitled to a minimum of five 'paid sick days' each year to: [1] care for their own physical or mental illness, injury, or health condition, or seek medical diagnosis or care; [2] care for family member for the same reasons; [3] attend a medical appointment for themselves or family members; [4] miss work due to a public health emergency; or [5] miss work because the employee or a family member has experienced domestic violence abuse." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)
[Guidance Overview] Can an Employee Take FMLA Leave to Care for a Sibling? Before You Say 'No,' Read This
"[C]ourts have quickly shut the door on employees seeking FMLA protection to care for their siblings ... Therefore, the courts still clearly need to be convinced that the FMLA somehow affords leave rights to employees to care for their siblings. They don't appear at all ready to enlarge the FMLA to cover brothers and sisters.... the only sliver of hope for the employee is to shoehorn themselves into the category of 'parent' ... by establishing that they stand in loco parentis to the adult sibling they are asking to care for." (FMLA Insights)
FMLA Intermittent Leave and Interference Claims Per the Eleventh Circuit
"The fact that the employee got all the leave he or she actually requested doesn't foreclose an interference claim. How you grant the leave can make a difference.... You can request documentation but make sure it goes to the need for leave. You should always require medical certifications but you can't require a doctor's note for every absence.... Be careful when addressing performance issues with employees taking intermittent FMLA as it can look like interference." [Diamond v. Hospice of Florida Keys, Inc., No. 15-15716 (11th Cir. Jan. 27, 2017; unpub.)] (Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP)
Americans Support Paid Leave, and They Want Employers to Foot the Bill
"About three-quarters of respondents said employers should pay for maternity and paternity leaves. Slightly less (72%) said employers should pay for leave for an employee's own illness and only 59% think employers should pay for caregiving leave. Relatively few say government -- either federal or state -- should provide the pay[.]" (HR Daily Advisor)
Lower-Income Workers Less Likely to Take Needed Time Off
"About one-in-six adults (16%) who have been employed in the past two years say there was a time during this period when they needed or wanted to take time off from work following the birth or adoption of their child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition or to deal with their own serious health condition, but were unable to do so. This figure rises to 30% among those with household incomes under $30,000." (Pew Research Center)
New Jersey Bill Seeks to Increase Family Leave Insurance Benefits
"If passed, Senate Bill No. 3085 would increase the weekly amount of FLI benefits from 6 to 12 weeks per year. In cases of intermittent leave, the maximum amount of FLI benefits would be increased from 42 days to 84 days. The bill would also increase the weekly amount of FLI benefits from two-thirds of a worker's average weekly wage to 80 percent of his or her average weekly wage. However, the maximum weekly payment would still be capped at of 53 percent of the statewide average weekly wage for all workers." (Ogletree Deakins)
[Guidance Overview] City of Los Angeles Updates Paid Sick Leave Rules and FAQs
"[T]he revised FAQs specify that employers can use different sick leave methods for different employee classes ... [At] the end of each year, employers -- at their discretion -- can pay out accrued but unused sick leave that exceeds the 72-hour overall cap.... [R]evised regulations address frontloading by small employers, calculating an employee's regular rate when sick leave is used, and using existing paid time off benefits to comply with the law." (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
Manager's Thoughtless Comment Resurrects Poor Performer's FMLA Claims
"[T]rain your managers on how to effectively and lawfully manage leaves of absence under your personnel policies and the law. Included in this training, of course, should be a stern warning against any stray comments about an employee's medical leave. Investing a couple hundred bucks now to conduct effective FMLA training will literally save you hundreds of thousands when the real life situation presents itself." [Stewart v. Wells Fargo Bank, No. 15-988 (N.D. Ala. Mar. 14, 2017)] (FMLA Insights)
[Guidance Overview] New Law in D.C. Adds to Required Paid Leave Puzzle
"One of the key differences under this law is that there is no requirement that a person be employed for any significant length of time. Unless the agency administering the benefits can carefully monitor entitlement to benefits, an unintended consequence may be that employees will game the system by frequently changing employers to gain additional paid time off. This could negatively affect employers that are already plagued with high turnover positions." (Lockton)
[Opinion] ERIC Provides Testimony on Nevada Paid Sick Leave Proposal
"While well intentioned, the proposed amendments to Chapter 608 of Nevada's Revised States will severely infringe large employers' ability to provide consistent paid sick leave to their employees in Nevada. Most large, multistate employers already offer some of the highest-quality paid leave plans to their employees, and should therefore not be subject to this bill." (The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC])
Of RIFs and FMLA Requests
"According to the court, given the weight of the evidence (or lack thereof) and the temporal proximity of the termination, it was not an unreasonable decision by the jury to find in favor of the plaintiff.... [T]he plaintiff made an inquiry to human resources about short-term disability. [The] court found that to be sufficient notice to the employer to at least make an inquiry as to whether FMLA leave notice and adherence obligations were triggered[.]" [Crain v. Schlumberger Technology Corp., No. 15-1777 (E.D. La. Feb. 23, 2017)] (HRE Daily)
The Risks of Unpaid Leave and the FMLA
"Despite the FMLA's language requiring that an employee 'work' for the employer for at least 12 months, regulations implemented by the [DOL] indicate that an employee must only be 'employed' for 12 months. In other words, if an employee remains on your payroll for 12 months, he may be eligible under the FMLA, regardless of how many months he actively performed work.... Most troubling of all is the fact that unpaid leave extended before the employee becomes FMLA-eligible would not count toward his 12 weeks of FMLA leave. So after taking 8 weeks of unpaid leave, the employee could request an additional 12 weeks of leave before exhausting his protection." (HR Daily Advisor)
[Guidance Overview] Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council Issues Interim Rule Implementing Paid Sick Leave (PDF)
"The Federal Acquisition Regulatory ('FAR') Council has published an interim rule implementing Executive Order 13706, Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors. It applies to solicitations issued by the federal government on or after January 1, 2017, and resultant contracts. For existing contracts, the interim rule directs contracting officers to include the new FAR clause in bilateral modifications extending the contract when such modifications are individually or cumulatively longer than six months.... The companion final rule published by the [DOL] stated the applicability in different terms and with different formatting, but differences in practice are likely to be limited." (Wiley Rein LLP via Pratt's Government Contracting Law Report)
[Guidance Overview] City of Los Angeles Updates Paid Sick Leave Rules and FAQs
"The revised FAQs provide that an employer's business size is based on covered employees, i.e., individuals who perform at least two hours of work in a particular week within the City of Los Angeles and are entitled to the state minimum wage. Also, the revised FAQs specify that employers can use different sick leave methods for different employee classes ... Per the revised FAQs, at the end of each year, employers -- at their discretion -- can pay out accrued but unused sick leave that exceeds the 72-hour overall cap. Finally, relevant revised regulations address frontloading by small employers, calculating an employee's regular rate when sick leave is used, and using existing paid time off benefits to comply with the law." (Littler)

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