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News Items, by Subject

Family and medical leave, incl. FMLA

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Denial of Pay Premium Due to FMLA-Related Absences Does Not Violate FMLA
"This decision reaffirms decisions reached by other courts by finding that an employer may discontinue a pay differential for FMLA absences, provided the employer acts similarly in response to non-FMLA absences. As with many facets of employment law, consistency is key." [Flowers v. McCartney, No. 17-604 (E.D. Ark. Jan. 8, 2019)] (Ogletree Deakins)
New Hampshire, Vermont Governors Pitch Two-State, Voluntary Paid Family-Leave Plan
"The Republican governors of New Hampshire and Vermont proposed teaming up Wednesday to create a joint paid family- and medical-leave program, pitching it as a way to help two small states with aging populations. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said the program would be voluntary and administered through a private insurance carrier." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)
Trends in Disability and Leaves of Absence: New Solutions to Old Problems (PDF)
"Three key areas of development should give employers hope: ... [1] Employers have more and better administration options than ever before.... [2] As complex as the leave landscape is getting, new technology is helping to change some of the rules of the road.... [3] Employers are experimenting with new and innovative types of leave that can have a real impact on the lives of their employees." (Benefits Quarterly, published by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists [ISCEBS])
It's Not FMLA Unless I Say So!
"[An employee] cannot decline to use FMLA (even if the leave qualifies for FMLA) and then try to hide behind FMLA protections after the fact.... Because the FMLA does not require that an employee expressly ask for 'FMLA leave' to fall under its protections, ... the employer should inquire of the employee if it is necessary to determine whether FMLA is being sought by the employee and obtain the necessary details of the leave to be taken." (Liebert Cassidy Whitmore)
[Guidance Overview] Massachusetts Offers Further Clarification on Its Paid Family and Medical Leave Law: What Employers Should Know
"The Department has now clarified that the contribution will be limited to 63% on the first $128,400 of an individual's annual earnings ... [T]he Department has clarified the starting dates as follows: [1] On January 1, 2021, employees can begin claiming benefits for bonding with a child or newborn; service-member related events; and dealing with the employee's own serious health condition; and [2] On July 1, 2021, employees can begin claiming benefits to care for a family member with a serious health condition." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)
[Guidance Overview] Is Your Business Complying with New Jersey's Earned Sick Leave Law?
"The sick leave law took effect on October 29, 2018.... Employees earn one hour of PSL for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per benefit year ... PSL is paid at the same rate of pay with the same benefits as the employee normally earns.... Employers must keep all records documenting hours worked by employees and earned sick leave accrued/advanced, used, paid, paid out, and carried over for five years." (Goldberg Segalla)
NYC Mayor Proposes Mandatory Vacation Time for Workers
"The mayor plans to pursue legislation that would require private employers with five or more employees to provide employees with up to 10 days of paid time off per year.... This paid personal time would be in addition to the five days of paid sick leave already provided to workers under the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, which took effect in 2014." (Fisher Phillips)
Massachusetts Sets Date for Publication of Draft Regulations on Paid Family and Medical Leave
"The newly-created Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has stated that it plans to publish draft regulations for the recently enacted Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law no later than January 23, 2019. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has scheduled a number of public listening sessions on the draft regulations throughout the state, beginning with a session in Boston on January 30, 2019." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
Governor Cuomo Vetoes Bill to Expand New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law
"In vetoing the bill, Governor Cuomo cited concern that including bereavement as a permissible reason to request PFL benefits would necessitate an increase in the amount of employee contributions needed to fund the cost of PFL benefits." (Nixon Peabody LLP)
Washington State's Paid Family and Medical Leave to Begin Funding in 2019
"Effective January 1, 2019, Washington employers must begin funding the state program through an employer and employee payroll tax of 0.4% of employee gross wages. Leave under the new program will be available starting January 1, 2020." (Keller Benefit Services)
[Guidance Overview] New Year, New Changes to New York Paid Family Leave
"Any requests for leave which are submitted on or after January 1, 2019 will be entitled to 10 weeks if the employee qualifies for NYPFL, even if the qualifying event (such as the birth of a child) occurred in 2018.... The Statewide AWW has increased from $1,305.92 (in 2018) to $1,357.11 in 2019, which means that the maximum weekly benefit for 2019 is $746.41.... Beginning January 1, 2019, the employee contribution rate also increased from 0.126% to 0.153% of an employee's gross wages each pay period, ... The definition of 'serious health condition' has expanded." (Mintz)
Employees May Use FMLA Leave in Nonconsecutive Weeks
"The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) cannot count as part of a rotational employee's [FMLA] leave those weeks that the employee is not scheduled to work, a federal district court held.... The court [found] that rotational employees not scheduled to work were not missing but were not eligible to work like employees during a business closing." [Acosta v. State of Alaska, No. 17-009 (D. Alaska Nov. 6, 2018)] (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
[Guidance Overview] Michigan Enacts Statewide Paid Sick Leave Law
"Employees accrue leave at a rate of at least one hour of leave for every 35 hours worked ... An employer is not required to allow an employee to accrue more than one hour of leave in a calendar week. An employer may limit an employee's accrual of leave to not less than 40 hours per 'benefit year,' which is any consecutive 12-month period used to calculate an employee's benefits.... Leave begins to accrue upon the later of March 2019 or commencement of an employee's employment." (Vorys)
[Opinion] All Workers Should Have a Few Paid Sick Days. The President and Congress Can Make It Happen
"[The Healthy Families Act] would set a national standard, allowing workers in businesses with 15 or more employees to earn up to seven paid sick days each year to be used to recover from illnesses, access preventive care, provide care to a sick family member, or attend school meetings related to a child's health condition or disability." (Karl Polzer, in Health Affairs)
[Guidance Overview] Maintaining a Lawful Parental Leave Policy in Light of Recent EEOC Scrutiny
"The Estee Lauder settlement and pending JP Morgan claim are reminders for employers to evaluate whether their parental leave policies comply with both federal and state law. Updating and maintaining compliant leave policies requires a multi-faceted approach -- employers must understand how leaves intersect and overlap with each other, as well as which federal and state laws apply to a particular leave." (Mintz)
Michigan's New Sick Leave Law
"Under the new paid sick leave law, which only applies to employers employing 50 or more people, employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked. On this accrual system, employees are permitted to carry over up to 40 hours of paid sick leave." (Foley & Lardner LLP)
Governor Cuomo Vetoes Bereavement Leave Legislation in New York
"The paid bereavement leave benefit was scheduled to begin in 2020 ... Shortly before the start of 2019, however, Governor Cuomo vetoed the bereavement leave bill ... [T]he New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo may revisit this topic in 2019." (Goldberg Segalla)
[Guidance Overview] New Jersey Sick Leave Law Became Effective October 29: Are You Compliant?
"Current employees began earning (or accruing) sick time on October 29, 2018 ... Employers should have determined their benefit year of 12 consecutive months.... Employees began accruing one hour of sick time for every thirty [30] hours worked, with a maximum of forty [40] hours for the year.... The Act applies to any business entity in NJ with one or more employees." (WithumSmith+Brown, PC)
Employers Face Challenges in Developing a Universal Paid Sick and Safe Time Policy
"[The authors] reviewed the basic aspects of [paid sick and safe time (PSST)] laws ... across jurisdictions to identify particular pain points.... [This article highlights] one provision from each jurisdiction with a generally-applicable PSST law (and some industry-specific and federal government contractor laws) that demonstrates why developing a multi-city, -state, or nationwide PSST policy may be a hard new year's resolution for employers to keep[.]" (Littler)
[Guidance Overview] Duluth Becomes Third City in Minnesota to Pass Safe and Sick Time Ordinance
"The ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2020. It requires employers to provide employees up to 40 hours of covered sick and safe leave per year, and it also ensures that employees have a private civil cause of action against their employers for violations of the ordinance." (Ogletree Deakins)
[Guidance Overview] New York Paid Family Leave Increases Effective January 1
"Effective January 1, 2019, the paid leave period under the NY Paid Family Leave will increase from 8 weeks to 10 weeks per year. Also effective January 1, 2019, employees taking NY Paid Family Leave will receive 55% of their average weekly wage (up from 50% in 2018) ... [T]he maximum weekly benefit for 2019 ... will increase from $652.96 to $746.41.... [T]he employee contribution rate will also increase from 0.126% to 0.153% of an employee's gross wages each pay period ... [An] employee's maximum annual contribution will increase from $85.56 to $107.97." (Hodgson Russ LLP)
[Guidance Overview] Michigan Amends Recently Enacted Paid Sick Leave Law
"The revisions contained in the new Act ... restrict the paid leave mandate to significantly fewer employers than were subject to the original law, and they greatly reduce the number of paid leave hours an eligible employee can accrue. The PMLA is expected to take effect in late March or early April of 2019[.]" (Epstein Becker Green)
[Guidance Overview] End-of-Year Washington State (and Local) Paid Sick and Safe Time Issues
"Under state law and Tacoma law, employees must be notified at least monthly -- in Seattle, each time wages are paid in Seattle -- in writing or electronically, of their PSST balance.... Beginning on January 1, 2019 (or when a CBA expires, for CBAs in existence on December 31, 2018), none of the Seattle standards that exceed state law requirements may be waived. Accordingly, time is running out to negotiate waivers with unions and file those waivers with Seattle's Office of Labor Standards." (Littler)
Men Just Dipping Toes in Expanding Sea of Paid Parental Leave
"66 percent of women take all available paid maternity leave, while only 36 percent of men use all of their paternity leave. Moreover, 40 percent of male employees used less than half of the paid parental or family leave they had available, compared with 13 percent of female employees[.]" (Bloomberg BNA)
The Evolution of America's Sick Leave Epidemic vs. State Efforts to Find a Cure
"[In addition to a narrative, this article provides an] infographic tracking the spread of paid sick leave and anti-local sick leave laws around the country. The infographic is divided into four distinct time periods to highlight the geographic and historic evolution of these laws." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)
[Guidance Overview] Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions About Michigan's Paid Medical Leave Act
"On December 14, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed the Paid Medical Leave Act into law. The act requires covered employers to provide paid sick leave to many of their Michigan-based employees. [Here] are answers to frequently asked questions about the new law." (Ogletree Deakins)
[Guidance Overview] New York Paid Family Leave Law: Are You Prepared for 2019?
"Effective January 1, 2019, the paid leave period under the NYPFLL will increase from 8 weeks to 10 weeks per year.... Also effective January 1, 2019, employees taking leave under the NYPFLL will receive 55% of their average weekly wage (up from 50% in 2018), up to a cap of 55% of the current Statewide Average Weekly Wage ($1,357.11). In other words, the maximum weekly benefit for 2019 will increase from $652.96 to $746.41." (Proskauer)
[Guidance Overview] Michigan Amends State Paid Sick Leave Law
"On December 13, 2018, outgoing Michigan Governor Rick Snyder approved a bill that substantially amends various aspects of Michigan's paid sick leave mandate. Although not a complete cure to the State's paid sick leave bug, when the amendments go into effect -- currently expected in late-March 2019 -- they will impose a strain of paid sick leave that is much less burdensome than what employers would have faced under the paid sick leave ballot initiative that was passed by the Michigan state legislature earlier this year." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)
Appellate Court Holds Austin, Texas Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law Violates Texas Constitution (PDF)
"Earlier this year, Austin became the first city in Texas to pass an ordinance requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave. On November 16, the Texas Court of Appeals for the Third District ruled that the ordinance violates the Texas Constitution.... One of the first bills filed for the 86th Texas Legislature that begins on January 8, 2019 ... would bar the local regulation of sick leave effective September 1, 2019, and would apply to any municipal ordinance, rule or regulation adopted before, on or after that date." (Buck)
[Guidance Overview] Michigan Governor Signs New Paid Medical Leave Law
"The newly enacted 'Paid Medical Leave Act' replaces and significantly alters the 'Earned Sick Time Act' passed in September.... It applies to businesses with 50 or more employees; Covered 'Employers' must provide eligible employees: at least one hour of paid medical leave for every 35 hours worked ... [and] at least 40 hours of paid medical leave per benefit year[.]" (Miller Johnson)
[Guidance Overview] New Massachusetts Agency Launches Website, Issues Guidance on Family and Medical Leave
"The [Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave's] first set of guidance provides comprehensive FAQ documents, one for employers and one for employees. The employers' FAQs largely summarize key components of the new statute ... For employees, the first set of FAQs generally address questions about eligibility. This guidance is also relevant to employers, who should take note of the requirements in order to ensure compliance with the new law[.]" (Epstein Becker Green)
[Guidance Overview] Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Is Imminent: Are You Ready?
"There are three main steps you will need to take starting January 1: [1] collect premiums from your workers, [2] provide the proper notice, and [3] determine whether you will be remitting your share each quarter.... [A]dditional considerations ... for the first quarter of 2019 and beyond.... [1] Schedule quarterly premium payments ... [2] Reporting requirements ... [3] Voluntary leave plan ... [4] Pencil In training sessions." (Fisher Phillips)
[Guidance Overview] New York State Paid Family Leave Law Update
"PFL benefits to employees will increase in the new year.... Employee contributions toward PFL benefits are also scheduled to increase as of January 1, 2019.... The Board published a new Statement of Rights form for 2019.... 'Serious Health Condition' now includes organ donors.... The Board's recent guidance clarifies a number of points relating to the administration of PFL benefits." (Nixon Peabody LLP)
[Guidance Overview] More Cook County Municipalities Willingly Catching Sick Leave
"Following a Cook County, IL voter referendum where voters overwhelmingly expressed support for paid sick leave, certain Cook County municipalities are ... 'opting-in' to the County's Earned Sick Leave Ordinance.... Cook County employers should remember to give employees annual notice of sick leave rights, and keep in mind that the 'grace period' for dismissing investigations against employers who become Ordinance-compliant has been extended through July 2019." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)
Lessons from Recent FMLA and ADA Decisions, Part 2 (PDF)
"[1] Employers may be able to stop the clock on lengthy leaves of absence.... [2] Tread carefully when asking employees on FMLA leave to do anything that could be construed as work.... [3] Overzealous surveillance can land an employer in the hot seat." (Dechert LLP)
Lessons From Recent FMLA And ADA Decisions, Part 1 (PDF)
"[This] series sets out six lessons that employers should learn from recent cases to ensure legal compliance and minimize litigation risk. Part one of the series covers the following topics: [1] recognizing when an employee provides notice; [2] understanding when a medical condition will be considered a serious health condition and/or a disability; and [3] understanding and proving what constitutes an essential job function." (Dechert LLP, via Law360)
[Official Guidance] Text of Updated IRS FAQs for Section 45S Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave
Eleven Q&As have been added to FAQs originally issued in April, including: "[1] What's the general rule for when an employer's written policy must be in place? ... [2] For the first taxable year of an employer beginning after December 31, 2017, what's the transition rule for when the employer's written policy must be in place? ... [3] What must an employer's written leave policy include? ... [4] Is an employer not subject to the FMLA eligible to claim the credit? ... [5] Can paid leave allowed under an employer's short-term disability program be characterized as family and medical leave? ... [6] How does an employer figure whether an employee has been employed for one year or more? ... [7] In figuring the rate of payment under the employer's written policy, is leave paid by a state or local government or required by state or local law considered? ... [8] Are employers aggregated for purposes of calculating the credit?" (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
[Guidance Overview] Washington State Family and Medical Leave Rules Require Action Beginning January 2019
"To comply with the law, nearly all Washington employers must ... [b]egin collecting premiums from employee paychecks beginning Jan. 1, 2019, unless the employer will pay those premiums for its employees.... Benefits are provided through a state-administered program, funded by employer and employee premium payments, but employers have the option to establish an employer-based 'voluntary plan' that meets or exceeds the state-provided benefits. The rules for voluntary plans ... differ slightly from the state-administered program." (Lockton)
Law Firms Pad Parental Leave to Attract Diverse Attorney Pool
"Paid parental leave has become the shiny new thing for employers in 2018 -- big name brands like Walmart, Starbucks, and Microsoft have all made headlines with updated policies. In the legal field, a handful of firms also have updated their policies to offer more leave, make the time off gender neutral, or add new types of benefits for parents." (Bloomberg BNA)
[Guidance Overview] Can an Employer Withhold a Year-End Bonus or Incentive Payment from the Employee Who Took FMLA Leave?
"[Perhaps] you want to offer a pay incentive to employees to improve attendance or production? Take, for instance, a point-based attendance bonus policy in which employees are assessed points for every tardiness or absence (even for FMLA or ADA-covered leave), which, in turn, disqualifies an employee from receiving the bonus. In these situations, can an employer disqualify an employee from the bonus or incentive? In short, Yes." (FMLA Insights)
[Guidance Overview] Michigan's Senate and House of Representatives Adopt Changes to the Paid Sick Leave Act
"Businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not covered and employees who are exempt from overtime pay under the [FLSA's] 'white collar' exemptions ... are not eligible for paid sick leave.... The bill reduces the maximum amount of paid sick leave to 40 hours in a 12-month period, which accrues at a rate of one hour for every 35 hours worked ... There have also been significant changes to how employees must request and substantiate their need for paid leave." (Ogletree Deakins)
Magic Words Unnecessary -- But Staying Out of Work Not Enough -- to Request Medical Leave Under the FMLA
"The evidence established that Shoemaker did not make a request for leave due to a medical condition when she called in her absence. Consequently, her employer's knowledge of her recent medical issues ... was not enough to put it on notice that Shoemaker's absence might qualify as FMLA leave." [Shoemaker v. Alcon Laboratories, Inc., No. 17-1738 (4th Cir. Aug. 6, 2018)] (Poyner Spruill LLP)
Texas Court of Appeals Rules Austin's Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Unconstitutional
"The court observed that ... [the] result of the ordinance is that an employer must pay its employees who use sick leave for hours they did not work, such that employees who take sick leave are paid the same for fewer hours worked than employees who do not take paid sick leave.... Because the ordinance required the payment of 'wages' in violation of the TMWA, the court found that the ordinance violated the Texas Constitution's prohibition of city ordinances containing any provision inconsistent with the laws enacted by the legislature." [Texas Ass'n of Business, et al. v. City of Austin, No. 3-18-00445-CV (Tex. 3d App. Nov. 16, 2018)] (Ogletree Deakins)
'Tis the Season: FMLA and Holidays
"When a holiday occurs within a week in which an employee takes a full week of FMLA leave, the entire week is counted as FMLA leave. If, however, an employee is taking FMLA leave in increments less than one week, the holiday is not counted as FMLA leave, unless the employee was scheduled and expected to work on the holiday and used FMLA leave for that day." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
The Rise of Outsourcing Leave Administration and What Employers Should Know About It
"While FMLA is the most common type of leave outsourced by employers today, employers are increasingly outsourcing the administration of other forms of leave including short and long term disability leave, ADA leave as an accommodation, employee assistance programs, group health, workers' compensation time, paid sick and parental leave, military, personal and bereavement leave." (Miles & Stockbridge)
Potential Cure Coming for Local Paid Sick Leave in Texas
"[T]he Third District noted that because the Austin PSL Ordinance increases the pay of employees using paid sick leave, it establishes a TMWA-defined wage. As such, the Third District held the TMWA preempts the Austin PSL Ordinance as a matter of law, thereby making it unconstitutional.... [O]utside the judicial arena, Texas State Legislators have developed a potential paid sick leave cure of their own." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)
Employers with Massachusetts Employees Must File Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure Form by November 30
"The FAQs do not specifically establish a penalty for failing to meet the annual November 30 deadline. There is also a possibility that a court could determine that [ERISA] preempts the HIRD requirement, meaning that employers would no longer be required to file the form if the requirement were challenged in court." (McDermott Will & Emery)
[Opinion] American Benefits Council Comment Letter to IRS on Notice 2018-71, Employer Tax Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave
"While the credit is only available for 2018 and 2019 under current law, we believe it is possible Congress may extend the credit in future years. Accordingly, we think it is valuable for the IRS and Treasury to issue proposed regulations that are consistent with Congress' intent to encourage adoption of paid family and medical leave programs." (American Benefits Council)
[Guidance Overview] Newly Created Massachusetts Agency Issues First Guidance On Paid Leave Law
"[T]he newly created Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) just launched its website and issued its first guidance documents.... [T]he July 1, 2019 date for starting contributions looms in the not-too-distant future, while benefits under the paid leave programs will begin in January 2021.... In its first action, the DFML delivered two sets of frequently asked questions, one set for employers and another for employees." (Fisher Phillips)
Austin, Texas Earned Sick Time Ordinance on Life Support After Court Ruling
"The appellate court's ruling has effectively blocked the ordinance from taking effect during litigation and will give the Texas Legislature an opportunity to enact legislation to prevent it from ever taking effect.... It is becoming more and more unlikely that the Austin ordinance will take effect in the near future.... The nearly identical San Antonio ordinance, set to go into effect on August 1, 2019, is not the subject of any lawsuit, but is likely to share the same fate as the Austin ordinance." [Texas Ass'n of Business, et al. v. City of Austin, No. 3-18-00445-CV (Tex. 3d App. Nov. 16, 2018)] (Littler)
[Official Guidance] IRS Notice 2018-89: Leave-Based Donation Programs (PDF)
"In response to the extreme need for charitable relief for victims of Hurricane Michael, employers may have adopted or may be considering adopting leave-based donation programs.... 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 Michael; and [2] paid to the Section 170(c) organizations before January 1, 2020. 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])
Appeals Court Blocks Austin's Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
"The Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals declared [that] the ordinance is preempted by the state's minimum wage law.... [A] three-judge panel ordered a ... temporary injunction against the ordinance.... [T]he ordinance is the first of its kind in Texas. It requires most employers to offer eight days of earned sick leave for a year of work, or six days for employees of businesses with fewer than 15 employees." [Texas Ass'n of Business, et al. v. City of Austin, No. 3-18-00445-CV (Tex. 3d App. Nov. 16, 2018)] (The Texas Tribune)
District Court: Failure to Promote is Viable Basis for FMLA Discrimination Claim
"[T]he court found that the plaintiff's complaint to the employer about the use of sick leave was a protected activity under FMLA and that the denial of promotion was a resulting adverse employment action taken by the employer. In particular, the court explained that there was ample evidence that the employer's admitted reason for not promoting the plaintiff was his complaint about not being allowed to use sick leave." [Browett v. City of Reno, No. 16-181 (D. Nev. July 24, 2018)] (The Wagner Law Group)
Common Issues for Multinational Employers When Implementing Leave Policies
"[1] Retaining discretion regarding how much leave to provide.... [2] Ambiguity regarding the interplay with local social security or government-provided leave.... [3] Ambiguity regarding the interplay with local prenatal leave requirements.... [4] Calculation of leave pay.... [5] Local language requirements." (Ogletree Deakins)
HR's Assurances Before Employee's One-Year Anniversary May Give Rise to FMLA Claim
"What if human resources (HR) tells an employee to take leave before he or she is eligible, not to worry about his or her job, and that it would approve the FMLA leave? The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin recently confirmed that HR assurances like these can give rise to a viable FMLA interference claim, even before an employee is eligible for leave." [Reif v. Assisted Living by Hillcrest LLC, No. 18-884 (E.D. Wisc. Nov. 6, 2018)] (Ogletree Deakins)
Effect of Inclement Weather Closures on an Employee's FMLA Allotment
"[It] appears that if an employer's business is closed for a week or more because of the storm, the days the business is closed would not count against an employee's FMLA leave allotment. If the business is closed for less than a week, the FMLA's regulation pertaining to holidays likely would apply." (FordHarrison)
Think Globally, Comply Locally: How Employers Navigate Leave Laws
"When asked about their approach to complying with state and local leave laws, the majority of respondents -- 65% -- simply track and comply with all laws and regulations that apply to their operations, with 38% using a third party to help.... 12% of respondents maintain a single national policy based on the most generous state/local leave law with which the employer must comply, and 27% have established a leave policy that meets or exceeds all state/local requirements." (Mercer)
Poor Health Costs U.S. Employers $530 Billion
"US employers paid nearly $880 billion in health care benefits for employees and dependents. However, illness-related lost productivity costs them another $530 billion per year ... That amounts to 60 cents for every dollar employers spend on health care benefits. Employees covered for sick time, workers' compensation, disability, and family and medical leave benefits are absent about 893 million days due to illness and incur an estimated 527 million lost work days due to impaired performance. This totals almost 1.4 billion days annually of employees absent -- greater than every nurse in the US missing a year of work." (Integrated Benefits Institute)
[Guidance Overview] Is Your Company Eligible for a Credit for Wages Paid under FMLA?
"The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted late last year created an employer credit for paid leave provided under [FMLA]. The credit is equal to 12.5% of wages paid to a qualifying employee during any period in which he or she is on leave under FMLA, provided the employee's pay during this period is 50% of the wages normally paid to him or her." (Schneider Downs)
[Guidance Overview] Paid Sick Leave Bug Spreads to Westchester County, NY
"Employers with 5 or more employees as defined by the [Earned Sick Leave Law (ESLL)] must allow employees to earn and use paid sick leave ... Employee is broadly defined ... [I]t is likely that employers can frontload eligible employees at least 40 hours of sick leave at the start of each year in order to satisfy the ESLL's accrual obligations.... 'Family member' is expansively defined ... Employers' records must clearly document eligible employees' hours worked and earned sick time accrued and taken, over a three year period." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)
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