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Benefits in the News > By Subject >

Family and medical leave, incl. FMLA

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Airlines Association Challenges State of Washington Paid Sick Leave Requirements
"Airlines for America is challenging the application of Washington Paid Sick Leave Act to the airlines on the grounds that it violates the United States Constitution ... because the law also applies to employees outside the state of Washington and has a negative impact on interstate commerce. The lawsuit also challenges the sick leave law on the basis that it is preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act because it negatively impacts carriers' 'prices, routes, and services.' " [Air Transport Ass'n of America v.Wash. Dept. of Labor & Industries, No. 18-5092 (W.D. Wash. complaint filed Feb. 6, 2018)] (Polsinelli at Work)
Sick Pay Is Not 'Wages' Under Massachusetts Law
"Under the Massachusetts Payment of Wages Law, employees who resign must be paid in full on the next regular pay day. However, employees that are discharged must be paid in full on the day of discharge.... [T]he Court noted that the mere fact that the statute does not specifically include sick pay as wages does not exclude sick pay from this law. Nevertheless, the Court ultimately concluded that the statute was not intended to include sick pay as wages." [Mui v. Mass. Port Authority, No. 12296 (Mass. Jan. 29, 2018)] (The Wagner Law Group)
Tasking Employee While She Was on FMLA Leave Could Constitute Interference
"[A] federal district court in Illinois concluded that a principal who telephoned a teacher who was on medical leave and asked her to come up with lesson plans and to post grades could be considered to have 'crossed the line into interference.' However, the employer's request for a second medical opinion before approving leave did not constitute interference[.]" [Hall v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, No. 14-3290 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 29, 2018)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
Annual Report of ABA Subcommittee on the FMLA: 2017 Court Cases (PDF)
This 333-page report describes, and organizes by topic in detail, over 450 FMLA decisions of federal and state courts during 2017. Special thanks to attorney Jeff Nowak of Franczek Radelet P.C. for making this compilation available. (American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Committee on Federal Labor Standards Legislation, Subcommittee on the Family and Medical Leave Act)
FMLA Leave Not Available Following Pet's Death
"Insomnia caused by emotional distress over the passing of a beloved pet probably was not a serious health condition under the [FMLA], according to the U.S. District Court of Eastern Wisconsin. Even if it was, a worker must give a supervisor adequate notice of the need for FMLA time off, and the court found that the employee in this case failed to do so." [Buck v. Mercury Marine Corp., No. 16-1013 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 22, 2017)] (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
[Guidance Overview] Maryland Paid Sick Leave Act Goes Into Effect
"The Act preempts Maryland localities from passing their own sick and safe leave laws in the future. Preemption is retroactive to January 1, 2017. Therefore, employers presumably must still comply with Montgomery County's paid sick and safe leave law, because it was enacted in 2016." (Ballard Spahr LLP)
Happy Birthday, FMLA! 25 Years Later -- Where Are We Now?
"Employers often feel overburdened by the paperwork's technical requirements, the ever-increasing threat of litigation, and the costs of complying with the statute. Employees and workers' rights groups are concerned about the FMLA's lack of coverage for part-time and small-business workers and the narrow definition of family. Either way you slice it, the FMLA is due for a revamp[.]" (Foley & Lardner LLP)
Wisconsin Legislature Poised to Exempt Certain Employers from State FMLA
"Under the second piece of legislation, the Wisconsin Legislature would exempt from the WFMLA those employers covered by the federal FMLA.... The bill would not prohibit an employee who is eligible for federal FMLA leave from taking that leave entitlement to care for a spouse, child, parent, domestic partner, or parent-in-law who has a serious health condition as defined by the WFMLA. However, if enacted, the bill would presumably exempt covered employers from other specific provisions of the WFMLA that are not required under federal law." (Ogletree Deakins)
Paid Family Leave Proposals Gaining Attention at Federal Level, Possibly Momentum
"[The Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219)] would create a qualified flexible work arrangement under [ERISA]. Because the plan would be tied to ERISA, participating employers would be shielded from varying state and local paid leave laws.... [An] employer would have to offer all employees, including both full- and part-time workers, a minimum threshold of paid leave ... and at least one flexible work arrangement[.]" (HR Daily Advisor)
Massachusetts High Court Says Sick Pay Doesn't Constitute Wages
"[E]mployers are not liable under the Payment of Wages Law if they choose not to pay out accrued, unused sick pay to employees upon termination of employment.... [T]he court observed that because employees' use of sick time is conditional -- it can only be used when an employee or family member is ill -- employees 'do not have an absolute right to spend down their sick time, employees are not typically compensated for accrued, unused sick time.' Indeed, the court noted that it is common for employers to have 'use it or lose it' sick leave policies." [Mui v. Mass. Port Authority, No. 12296 (Mass. Jan. 29, 2018)] (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
Senate Republicans Readying Paid Family Leave Bill
"Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Mike Lee (Utah), and Joni Ernst (Iowa) are working with the Independent Women's Forum to draft the legislation ... for the voluntary paid parental leave program. The measure would allow a worker to deduct Social Security contributions to use for leave from work for situations including the birth of a child. The worker would be able to repay those funds by delaying retirement, those on the call said." (Bloomberg BNA)
State Sick Leave Laws Raise Questions for Out-of-State Employers
"What if you are a Minnesota employer, yet you have one employee working remotely from Maryland? You aren't a Maryland employer, yet the [Maryland] law applies to employers 'with 14 or fewer employees.' Does your one employee who, arguably, is working in Maryland mean you are subject to the law? ... What if you are a Maryland employer with 12 workers in state, yet you have three remote workers in Delaware? In this case, it's clearer that the paid sick leave law applies to you -- after all, you are a Maryland employer -- but do you have 15 employees or not? Unfortunately, the law as drafted does not clearly answer these questions." (HR Daily Advisor)
[Guidance Overview] Puerto Rico Bars Use of Legitimate Absences in Performance Review, Adds Catastrophic Illness Leave
"[Act 60] shields employees from adverse consequences from sick leave use. [Act 28] creates a special leave for catastrophic illnesses....Act 60's stated intent is to prohibit employer policies or practices that consider legitimate sick leave absences as criteria in evaluations, thus affecting the employee's opportunities for promotions or raises....Act 28 applies to both exempt and non-exempt employees, as well as temporary employees. The law will become effective on February 20, 2018." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
[Guidance Overview] Puerto Rico Establishes Paid Leave for Employees Suffering from Catastrophic Illnesses
"This bill ... defines catastrophic illnesses [to include]: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS); Tuberculosis; Leprosy; Lupus; Cystic Fibrosis; Cancer; Hemophilia; Aplastic Anemia; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Autism; Post Organ Transplant; Scleroderma; Multiple Sclerosis; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); and Chronic Kidney Disease in levels 3, 4 and 5. To be entitled to this leave, employees must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, and have worked an average of 130 hours per month during the previous 12-month period." (Littler)
The FMLA and Intermittent Leave: Proceed with Caution
"The employer argued that even though the employee's intermittent leave had been approved, he failed to give proper notice of his intention to take off on the specific day in question.... The critical inquiry is whether the information conveyed to the employer is sufficient to let it know of the request to take time off for a serious health condition, including days taken off during intermittent leave." [Walpool v. Frymaster, LLC, No. 17-558 (W.D. La. Nov. 16, 2017)] (HR Daily Advisor)
[Guidance Overview] New Tax Law Provides Employer Tax Credit for Compensation Paid to Employees While on Family and Medical Leave
"To be eligible for the credit, an employer must have a written policy that provides all qualifying full-time employees with at least two weeks of annual paid family and medical leave. Part-time employees are also to be allowed a commensurate amount of leave on a pro rata basis. Qualifying employees are those who have worked for the company for at least one year and were paid no more than 60% of the compensation threshold for highly compensated employees in the previous year." (Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP)
[Guidance Overview] Maryland Adopts Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law
"The Healthy Working Families Act does not require an employer to modify an existing paid leave policy, provided that the policy allows employees to accrue and use leave under terms and conditions that are at least equivalent to the leave provided by the legislation.... Employers have a very limited right to request verification that the leave is being used for an intended purpose.... Employees must be given notice of their entitlement to leave and of the legislation's provisions, including its anti-retaliation provisions and complaint mechanisms." (McGuireWoods)
[Guidance Overview] Tax Reform Offers New Incentive for Employers Providing Paid FMLA Leave
"Section 13403 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ... adds a new section to the Internal Revenue Code (section 45S), which generally allows eligible employers to claim a general business tax credit equal to at least 12.5% of the amount of wages paid to qualifying employees during any period which such employees are on FMLA leave. However, the rate of payment must be at least 50% of the wages normally paid to the employee and must be provided pursuant to written policy." (Fraser Trebilcock)
Family Crisis or New Joy? Get Paid Time Off for It
"Starting this month, [California's Paid Family Leave] program addresses some of the obstacles: Now you can receive up to 70 percent of your pay, depending on your income, up from 55 percent. And the previously required seven-day waiting period is going away, which means your benefits can kick in on the first day you need them.... You may qualify for the program if you work for an employer of any size, in the public or private sector, or even for yourself, so long as you have recently contributed to the program." (Kaiser Health News)
[Guidance Overview] Maryland Continues National Trend with Paid Sick Leave Law
"The Act is currently scheduled to take effect February 11, 2018; however, the Maryland General Assembly may delay the HWFA's implementation to April 12, 2018 ... Once available, employers should post the Maryland [DOL], Licensing and Regulation model notice.... Employers should also add employees' leave accrual balances to pay stubs or receipts. Finally, employers should make preparations to keep records of accrued leave and use for at least three years." (Winston & Strawn LLP)
Fighting Back: FMLA Fraud and Abuse
"Fraud and dishonesty in the use of FMLA leave may be grounds for termination of employment. An employer suspecting FMLA fraud or abuse may investigate and take action to deter future FMLA abuse.... [O]ptions to consider: [1] Interviewing the employee.... [2] Private investigation.... [3] Recertification." (Polsinelli PC)
TIAA Expands Paid Parental Leave
"The policy became effective Jan. 1, giving all new parents at the New-York based firm -- regardless of gender, physically birthing the child or who the primary or secondary caregiver is -- access to 16 weeks of paid leave.... The company expects 350 to 400 of its 12,000 eligible employees will use these benefits in any given year[.]" (Employee Benefit News)
When Is an Employer Required to Check for FMLA Eligibility? The Answer May Surprise You!
"Some employers base the 12-month FMLA period on a 'look forward' period measured forward from the date any employee's first FMLA leave. Testing for eligibility is the same as the 'rolling year' ... You check eligibility for the first instance of FMLA leave for a particular reason, at which point they are eligible for that reason for the following 12-month period. Upon the first instance of FMLA leave for this condition in the next FMLA year, eligibility should be checked again." (FMLA Insights)
First Sick Leave Settlement Reached in Minneapolis
"The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights has settled its first case of retaliation under the paid sick-leave ordinance that went into effect on July 1, 2017.... Three months after the employee's complaint was initiated, the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights reached a settlement with the gas station employer in which the gas station agreed to pay the employee $11,000 in lost wages." (Gray Plant Mooty)
Delay Proposed for Maryland Paid Sick Leave
"An emergency bill was introduced [Jan. 22] to delay the implementation of that Act for 60 days, which would give employers some breathing room to revise and implement their policies.... [A] vote has been scheduled for ... January 24." (Miles & Stockbridge)
Trends in Paid Parental Leave Come to Law Firms
"As more companies offer their employees attractive leave benefits, law firms are following suit by offering their attorneys robust parental leave benefits. Here are some cutting-edge questions for companies promoting a work-life balance to consider in terms of their parental leave allowances, and trends in the promotion and advancement of women in law, including the Mansfield Rule and how it can positively impact the legal profession." (Ogletree Deakins)
Despite Letter Referencing FMLA Leave, Employee Was Not Eligible
"An administrative assistant who was not allowed to return to work after taking multiple leaves of absence ... did not dispute that the defendants employed fewer than 50 employees within 75 miles of her worksite and, even though the employer referenced the exhaustion of her 'FMLA' leave by letter, she did not show that she detrimentally relied on the misrepresentation[.]" [Schuler v. The Dow Chemical Co., No. 14-1043 (W.D.N.Y. Jan. 2, 2018)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
[Guidance Overview] Maryland Becomes Ninth State to Require Paid Sick Leave
"The Act is scheduled to take effect on February 11, 2018, and allows employees to accrue leave as of January 1, 2018.... [T]he General Assembly may delay the Act's implementation in order to provide the state time to draft regulations and employers additional time to comply with the Act's requirements." (Morgan Lewis)
[Guidance Overview] Maryland's Healthy Working Families Act Requires Employers in the State to Provide Sick/safe Leave
"Covered employers must notify employees of their rights under the Act ... [E]mployees must be given a detailed statement each pay period explaining the status of the accrued and used sick/safe leave. Further, employers are required to maintain the records of individual employee leave accrual and usage for three years, and the records are subject to government inspection." (FordHarrison)
[Guidance Overview] New Sick Leave Law Affects All Maryland Employers
"An employer must keep relevant records for at least three years, and there is a rebuttable presumption that an employer has violated the law if it fails to do so. An employee may file a complaint with the labor commissioner and may then bring a civil action for treble damages, punitive damages, and attorney's fees. The act will impact 100,000 businesses employing more than 790,000 employees and employers must immediately prepare to comply with its requirements." (Vorys)
Tax Code Revisions Will Affect Employer Policy and Litigation Strategy Decisions (PDF)
"The bill does not require employers to offer paid leave. Rather, the TCJA establishes a tax credit as an incentive to employers to provide paid family and medical leave. This tax credit has a sunset provision -- it is only available in tax years 2018 and 2019. Furthermore, the credit is not available with respect to any amounts paid by a state or local government or required by state or local law." (Stevens & Lee)
[Guidance Overview] Maryland Senate Overrides Governor's Veto of Paid Sick Leave Law
"Employees who have accrued, unused sick and safe leave at the end of each year must be permitted to carry over that leave to the following year, though employers may impose a 40-hour carry over cap.... [E]mployers will not be required to allow employees to: [1] Carry over more than 40 hours of accrued, unused sick and safe leave from year to year; [2] Use more than 64 hours of sick and safe leave in a year; [3] Accrue more than 64 hours at any time; or [4] Use sick and safe leave during the first 106 calendar days that the employee works for the employer." (Proskauer)
[Guidance Overview] Assessing the New Maryland Paid Sick Leave Law
"Employers with 15 or more employees will be required to provide employees with paid leave ... and employers with fewer than 15 employees will be required to provide unpaid leave ... for the following reasons: [1] Care or treatment of the employee's or a family member's mental or physical illness, injury, or conditions; [2] Preventive medical care for the employee or family member; [3] Maternity or paternity leave; and [4] Absences that are necessary due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking committed against the employee or the employee's family member." (Smith & Downey, P.A.)
[Opinion] Maryland Grants Access to Paid Sick Days to 700,000 Employees and Their Families
"[T]he Maryland legislature successfully overrode Governor Hogan's veto of a bill granting Maryland workers access to paid sick days ... Maryland is ... the ninth state to guarantee a minimum amount of paid time for eligible workers to care for themselves or their family when they are sick or need medical care." (Economic Policy Institute)
Walmart Adds Adoption Benefit, Expands Parental Leave
"Walmart will expand its U.S. leave policy to 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. Salaried associates also will receive six weeks of paid parental leave. Previously, full-time hourly workers were eligible for up to eight weeks of paid maternity leave and two weeks of paid parental leave, while hourly workers received half pay during family leave. The benefit also applies to parents who adopt, Walmart said." (Employee Benefit News)
[Guidance Overview] Want to Reduce Your Tax Liability? Offer Paid Family Medical Leave
"[T]he employer is required to have a written policy that provides two weeks of paid leave for family and medical leave at not less than 50% of wages for full time, and a prorated amount for part-time, employees.... [T]he two weeks of paid leave cannot be provided as vacation, personal, medical, or sick leave. In order to be considered for the tax credit, the paid family and medical leave has to be a separate provision in the employer's policies. Your company's current PTO policy will not likely qualify for the tax credit." (Graydon)
Is Your Company Eligible for a Tax Credit for Paid Leave?
"To claim the tax credit, the written policy must provide full-time qualifying employees at least two weeks (annually) of paid family and medical leave and must provide part-time qualifying employees a proportionate amount of paid family leave ... The policy must also specify the leave benefit ... Note that the credit does not apply with respect to paid leave that is mandated under state or local law." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
[Guidance Overview] New York Paid Family Leave: Q&As for Employers
"How do you determine when an employee with an irregular work schedule becomes eligible for PFL insurance benefits? ... If an employer has insurance coverage for PFL benefits, how does the claims procedure work? ... Where can employers find the forms associated with the PFL? ... What counts as 'wages' for the purpose of calculating an employee's average weekly wages? ... How does the PFL interact with other laws and leave benefits?" (Nixon Peabody LLP)
[Official Guidance] Text of DOL Inflation-Adjusted Civil Penalties for 2018, Including Those Under ERISA and FMLA
"[T]his final rule sets forth the Department's 2018 annual adjustments for inflation to its civil monetary penalties.... This final rule is effective on [the date of publication in the Federal Register, scheduled to be Jan. 2, 2018]. As provided by the Inflation Adjustment Act, the increased penalty levels apply to any penalties assessed after [such date]." [BenefitsLink note: 2017 and 2018 dollar amounts have been summarized by EBSA in an appendix to the rule, which will not be published in the Federal Register. EBSA penalties under ERISA begin on page 31; penalties under FMLA are on page 35.] (U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
[Guidance Overview] Tax Bill Includes Employer Tax Credit for Family and Medical Leave
"The new law creates a credit for employers who provide paid family and medical leave for eligible employees. It allows for a minimum credit of 12.5 percent of wages paid to qualified employees if the employer meets the minimum payment requirement, with potential increases to the credit for each percentage point above the minimum that employers pay to their employees who have taken leave." (Fox Rothschild LLP)
[Guidance Overview] Tax Reform Provisions Affecting Employer-Provided Compensation and Benefits (PDF)
"[1] Repeal of performance-based compensation exception to $1,000,000 deduction limit ... [2] Excessive compensation of non-profit covered employees subject to a 21% tax penalty ... [3] Limits and phase-out on deduction for employer-operated eating facilities ... [4] Elimination of employer deduction for certain transportation fringe benefits ... [5] Suspension of income exclusion for qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement fringe benefit ... [6] Suspension of income exclusion and employer deduction for qualified moving expense reimbursement ... [7] Extension of rollover period for plan loan offsets ... [8] Employer credit for paid family and medical leave." (Trucker Huss)
[Guidance Overview] Recent Amendments to Seattle's Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance Will Take Effect on January 1, 2018
"The [amendments adopted Dec. 15, 2017] incorporate at the local level the more employee-friendly provisions of Washington Initiative 1433, which established statewide paid sick leave.... Adds child (of any age), sibling, and grandchild.... Caps on use are not permitted. Mirrors state law provision that permits caps only on carryover, not use.... Adds language allowing use when the employee's child's school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official for any health-related reason.... Waiting period is 90 calendar days from start of employment." (Ogletree Deakins)
Tax Reform Law Includes Paid Leave Provisions
"Section 13403 of the Act offers businesses a tax credit if they offer up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to certain eligible workers. Eligible employers must have a written policy that provides not less than two weeks of annual paid family and medical leave for full-time employees, and a pro-rata amount provided at the same ratio for part-time employees. The policy must provide payment at a rate not less than 50 percent of the wages normally paid to employees on leave." (Fisher Phillips)
[Guidance Overview] New Year's Surprise: Seattle Changes Paid Sick Leave Law at Last Minute
"[T]he city of Seattle has ... [amended] its Paid Sick and Safe Ordinance just this week ... Now even just one Seattle employee is enough.... [T]he law now clearly prohibits you from requiring employees to find someone to cover their shifts.... Waiting period for use reduced to 90 days.... Waivers are no longer viable, except for provisions of the Seattle law that are more generous than the state's new requirements ... You may no longer cap an employee's annual use of paid sick or save leave.... New definition of 'family.' ... Exempt employees still covered." (Fisher Phillips)
Nevada Employers Prepare to Provide Leave for Domestic Violence Victims
"In the new year, Nevada employers will be required to provide workplace protections for employees who are victims of domestic violence.... [An] eligible employee is entitled to 160 hours of leave (which may be taken in a block or intermittently) during a 12-month period following the date on which the domestic violence occurs. The leave allowed under this law may be paid or unpaid." (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
[Guidance Overview] Prince George's County, Maryland Enacts Paid 'Safe' Time Law
"[Bill Number CB-87-2017] mandates that covered employees be allowed to accrue and use paid leave for absences connected to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.... The law will apply to employers operating and doing business in Prince George's County that employ 15 or more persons in the county. Any person an employer permits or instructs to work or be present in the county is considered a covered employee." (Littler)
Paid Leave, Other Job-Related Measures Stay in Tax Bill
"Incentives for companies to offer their workers paid leave, in addition to prohibiting deductions related to confidential settlements related to sexual misconduct, are part of the final version of a Republican tax reform bill ... That includes offering businesses a credit for offering up to 12 weeks of paid family leave. The measure, plucked from a stand-alone bill (S. 344) by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), also includes incentives for offering medical leave." (Bloomberg BNA)
Differing State and Local Paid Leave Laws Driving You Crazy? Help from Congress May Be on the Way
"Representative Mimi Walters (R-Calif.) recently introduced the Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219) ... [which] would exempt employers from state and local leave obligations if they give workers a certain amount of general paid leave that can be used for medical, family, bereavement, vacation and other reasons.... [T]he employer would have to provide a minimum of 12 to 20 days of paid leave per year to qualify for the exemption." (Ice Miller LLP)
[Guidance Overview] New Year Brings Paid Sick and Safe Leave to Washington State
"All Washington employers, regardless of size, must provide their employees paid sick and safe leave (PSSL) starting January 1, 2018.... [E]mployees accrue one hour of PSSL for every 40 hours actually worked [and] may start using the accrued PSSL on the 90th day of employment. There is no cap on the number of PSSL hours employees may accrue or use in a benefit year." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
[Guidance Overview] Expansions to New York City's Sick Time Law Coming in May 2018
"Under the recent amendments to the law, employees will also be able to use leave for 'safe time' for absences from work when the employee or a family member has been the victim of a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.... The amended law broadly expands the definition of covered family members, for both sick and safe time[.]" (Fisher Phillips)
[Guidance Overview] New Year, New Leave Policies
"Employers should immediately contact their insurance carriers to arrange for Paid Family Leave coverage.... [E]mployers should coordinate with their payroll departments and/or payroll vendors to arrange for deductions to be made beginning on January 1.... Employers should identify employees who will not be eligible for Paid Family Leave and inform them that they can choose to waive coverage." (Mintz Levin)
Employee Can't Sue Employer's Defense Counsel for FMLA Interference or Defamation
"An employee was unable to advance his claims of FMLA interference and defamation against the law firm representing his former employer (who he was also suing for discrimination). Granting the law firm's motion to dismiss his claims, which were based on the defense attorney's alleged conduct and statements during DOL proceedings, a federal court in Kansas determined that the law firm was not an 'employer' under the FMLA, and the attorney's communications to the DOL investigator were entitled to an absolute privilege." [Carter v. Spirit Aerosystems, Inc., No. 16-1350 (D. Kans. Nov. 13, 2017)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
[Guidance Overview] Nevada Employers Prepare to Provide Leave for Domestic Violence Victims
"[E]ffective on January 1, 2018 ... [this law will] require employers to provide leave to an employee 'who has been employed by an employer for at least 90 days and who is a victim of an act which constitutes domestic violence.' ... [An] eligible employee is entitled to 160 hours of leave (which may be taken in a block or intermittently) during a 12-month period following the date on which the domestic violence occurs. The leave allowed under this law may be paid or unpaid." (Ogletree Deakins)
[Guidance Overview] Rhode Island Is Newest State to Require Paid Sick Leave
"[E]mployers with 18 or more employees in Rhode Island are required to allow their employees to accrue up to 24 hours (three days) of paid sick and safe leave beginning in calendar year 2018, increasing to up to 32 hours (four days) in 2019, and up to 40 hours (five days) starting in 2020." (Epstein Becker Green)
New York Paid Family Leave: How Do We Determine Tax Obligations?
"[T]ax issues raised by the NYPFL law [include]: Are employee premium payments withheld pre- or post-tax? Are employee premium payments subject to payroll taxes, such as FICA and FUTA? Are premium payments taxable if the employer pays on behalf of employees? Are benefits taxable to employees? How are tax payments or liabilities reported?" (Lockton)
Paid FMLA Tax Credit Included in Senate Reform Bill As House Holds Hearing on Paid Leave
"The Senate-passed tax reform bill includes a two-year tax credit for companies that provide paid family leave benefits, while the House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing highlighting an HR Policy-supported bill providing a voluntary federal standard for employers. The tax credit ... would allow employers to receive a 25 percent nonrefundable tax credit for each hour of paid leave up to $4,000 per year for each qualified employee." (HR Policy Association)
Using Employer Leave Programs to Attract and Keep Top Talent
"[1] Analyze data to determine where leaves are currently taken to understand where cost and staffing burdens may exist. [2] Work closely with managers to help them ... define options for managing staffing levels during leaves. [3] Coach managers to ensure communications are consistent ... [4] Develop communications that focus on the employee experience[.]" (Findley Davies | BPS&M)
Can an Employee Be Terminated After Racking Up Both FMLA and Unexcused Absences?
"Document each absence ... These reports later are golden when the employer is considering termination, as we now have an actual document explaining why an employee was absent on a particular occasion. It takes some work, of course, but it's highly effective.... Before you hit the termination button on an employee due to attendance issues, conduct an audit of all the absences serving as the basis for the termination decision and confirm with documentation ... Don't forget progressive discipline and the interactive process." (FMLA Insights)
New York Releases Paid Family Leave Statement of Rights and Model Policy Language
"[The New York State Workers' Compensation Board (WCB)] released a manual that identifies the topics that must be included in employee materials and provides model language that employers may wish to incorporate in such materials, as appropriate. The WCB also issued a Statement of Rights.... [E]mployers must provide the Statement of Rights to employees whenever they take paid qualifying family leave." (Ogletree Deakins)
A Federal Solution to the Paid Leave Compliance Maze?
"Under the 'Workforce in the 21st Century Act,' employers would need to offer paid leave to both full- and part-time employees ... to be exempt from state and local rules. The minimum amount of leave proposed would be based on employer size and the employee's years of service." (Mercer)

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