Jeff Nowak

Jeff Nowak

Franczek Radelet P.C.

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When a Manager Makes Even One Stupid Comment after an FMLA Request, the Employer Pays the Price

How would you like to work alongside Jim, who engages in the following behavior: He makes a habit of telling co-workers what they are doing wrong, using a degrading tone of voice, and instigates arguments when doing...more

10/1/2015 - Corporate Counsel FMLA Harassment Managers Wage and Hour Workplace Bullying

Can an Employee Decline FMLA Leave Simply by Checking a Box on a Form?

Do you require your employees to fill out a form or an application to request leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act? If not, are you thinking of changing to such an approach? Either way, pay attention to this story...more

9/28/2015 - Collective Bargaining FMLA School Districts Sick Leave Unions Wage and Hour

Is Amazon the Scapegoat in the Debate on Employee Leave Entitlements? What's the Lesson Here for Employers?

Amazon has been making headlines lately. And it’s not because the company is offering generous discounts on Amazon prime delivery. Over the past few weeks, Amazon has been hit hard in the media after several current and...more

9/9/2015 - Amazon Marketplace FMLA Hiring & Firing Leave of Absence Wage and Hour

Requiring an Employee to Return from FMLA Leave "Without Restrictions" or "Fully Healed" Is Playing with Fire

Do you know what happens when you maintain a policy or practice that requires an employee to return to work without restrictions or “100% healed”? You pay. A lot. Just ask Brookdale Senior Living Communities....more

8/26/2015 - ADA Corporate Counsel EEOC Fitness for Duty Exams FMLA Healthcare Providers Wage and Hour

A Cruise Aboard the Love Boat is Not Protected by the FMLA, Even When the Doc Says It's a Good Idea

This post has nothing to do with Netflix and its new, generous parental leave policy. Or GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina’s latest position on paid leave. Sorry to disappoint. But it does involve an exotic...more

8/19/2015 - FMLA HIPAA Medical Leave Paid Leave Popular Wage and Hour Wrongful Termination

DOL and EEOC Offer Insight into How They Will Approach FMLA and Reasonable Accommodation Enforcement

This week, I had the pleasure of presenting with Department of Labor and EEOC officials on key developments out of Washington with respect to leave management and accommodations.  Our presentation was part of the...more

8/6/2015 - Compliance Disability Disability Discrimination DOL EEOC FMLA Pregnancy Pregnancy Discrimination PTO Reasonable Accommodation UPS

Need To Investigate Employee Misconduct While the Employee is on FMLA Leave? Follow This Employer's Lead

Even once in awhile an employer has handled an FMLA situation so effectively, you just want to shout out, “You Go Girl!” . . . or let out a fist pump (like you just sank a 70-foot birdie) . . . or initiate a wild chest bump...more

7/16/2015 - Corporate Counsel Disciplinary Proceedings FMLA Internal Investigations Willful Misconduct Workplace Investigations

Preview of Potential Changes to EB-5 Immigration Program: Source of Financing for Construction and Hospitality Projects

With the impending expiration of the Immigrant Investor Visa Program, also known as EB-5, in September, bipartisan legislation has been proposed in Congress to renew and improve the Program. The proposed changes could...more

7/14/2015 - Construction Industry EB-5 Financing Hospitality Industry Immigrant Investment Visas Immigrant Investor Program Job Creation Real Estate Development Real Estate Market Regional Centers Targeted Employment Area USCIS Visas

FMLA FAQ: Must an Employer Provide Intermittent FMLA Leave So An Employee Can Attend to an Autistic Child?

Q: One of our employees, a front desk receptionist, maintains an erratic work schedule because she must attend to her autistic son. In short, her son throws a tantrum at school if his mom does not personally drop him off...more

7/10/2015 - ADA Disability FMLA Paid Leave Serious Health Conditions Wage and Hour

Now That Same-Sex Marriage is a Constitutional Right, How Do Employers Administer FMLA Leave?

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor issued a final rule allowing an otherwise eligible employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognized...more

6/29/2015 - DOL Employee Rights FMLA Fourteenth Amendment Obergefell v. Hodges Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Spouses

FMLA FAQ: If Your Employee Checks into the Hospital After Midnight, Is It an "Overnight Stay" under the FMLA?

Q: One of my employees complained of chest pains at work and later went to the emergency room at the local hospital. However, we have learned through his medical certification that he was not admitted to the hospital until...more

6/12/2015 - FMLA Hiring & Firing Medical Leave Popular Wrongful Termination

How Fowl! Is An Employee's Text and His Girlfriend's Report Enough to Establish Notice of Need for FMLA Leave? Not So Fast...

This one just smells fowl. Delbert (not sure if he goes by Del or Bert, so I’ll just call him Delbert) decided not to show up for work at Tyson Fresh Meats on December 28. Instead, he asked his girlfriend, who also worked...more

6/4/2015 - Best Management Practices Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies FMLA Notice Requirements Sick Leave Tyson Foods

DOL Publishes New FMLA Forms -- Good Through May 2018

Those sneaky little rascals! While the rest of us were enjoying our Memorial Day holiday, those crazy kids over at the Department of Labor were still working away. This time, they were busy posting the new model FMLA notices...more

5/27/2015 - DOL FMLA Genetic Discrimination GINA Health Care Providers Military Caregiver Leave Military Leave Military Service Members Veterans Wage and Hour

EEOC Commissioner Provides Helpful Guidance to Employers on Providing Accommodations to Pregnant Employees

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting with EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic on the EEOC’s pregnancy discrimination guidance and how employers should address pregnancy accommodations in the workplace.  Our presentation...more

4/29/2015 - ADA EEOC New Guidance PDA Pregnancy Discrimination Professional Conferences Reasonable Accommodation Young v United Parcel Service

DOL Will Not Enforce Final FMLA Regulation Regarding Same-Sex Spouses in Four States

Last week, I reported that a federal district court in Texas had halted the DOL’s enforcement of its final rule that would allow employees to take FMLA leave for their same-sex spouse. ...more

4/13/2015 - DOL Employer Mandates FMLA Preliminary Injunctions Same-Sex Marriage

Does FMLA Cover In Vitro Fertilization? Does It Matter if Dad's Sperm is to Blame?

Is that all it takes to get you to click on my blog entry — make a reference to “sperm” in the blog title and post a silly photo of this little guy?  That was like taking candy from a baby!...more

4/9/2015 - Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues FMLA Gender Discrimination Pregnancy Discrimination

Texas Court Puts a Halt on DOL Enforcement of the New FMLA Rule Extending Leave Rights to Same-Sex Couples

A federal judge in Texas granted an injunction on Thursday that (for the time being) has stopped enforcement of the DOL’s final rule regarding the definition of spouse. Under the new rule, which was scheduled to take effect...more

3/27/2015 - DOL Final Rules FMLA Injunctions Same-Sex Marriage

Supreme Court Gives Pregnant Employees a Path Toward Securing Workplace Accommodations

All across America this morning, pregnant employees are screaming out in muted shouts of joy and giving each other belly bumps. Last year, I reported on the EEOC’s recent pregnancy discrimination guidance, which interpreted...more

3/26/2015 - Essential Functions PDA Popular Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation SCOTUS Young v United Parcel Service

Employer's Lack of FMLA Compliance in Handling FMLA Leave Request is a Lesson for the Rest of Us

Want a glimpse into a world where an employer fails to maintain a legally compliant leave management process?  Let me warn you — what you are about to read is not pretty and not for the faint of heart....more

3/17/2015 - FMLA FMLA Certification Forms Hiring & Firing Medical Certification Requests Medical Leave Retaliation Termination Wrongful Termination

Check Out ABA's Summary of 2014 FMLA Court Decisions -- An Excellent Resource for Employers

Want to read about nearly FMLA case that was either dismissed or allowed to advance toward trial? Want a snapshot of what employers got right and what they got wrong in the land of FMLA?...more

3/11/2015 - American Bar Association FMLA Information Reports

It's March 2015. The DOL's Model FMLA Forms Expired Just Days Ago. Now What?

On February 28, 2015, the DOL’s recommended FMLA forms expired. And on March 1, the sun still rose in the east. Life, as we know it, forged on. It’s anyone’s guess as to when new FMLA forms will be issued, so in the...more

3/3/2015 - DOL FMLA Required Forms

DOL Issues Final Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights to Same-Sex Couples: Here's Everything Employers Need to Know

The Department of Labor has issued a final rule that will allow an employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes their marital status. This...more

2/24/2015 - Corporate Counsel DOL DOMA Final Rules FMLA Legal History Same-Sex Marriage Spouses US v Windsor

EEOC Regional Attorney John Hendrickson Offers Insights on EEOC's Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting with EEOC Regional Attorney in the Chicago District John Hendrickson on the EEOC’s recently drafted Pregnancy Discrimination Enforcement Guidance and how these guidelines will...more


Want to Drastically Improve Your FMLA and ADA Expertise? Attend These Can't Miss FMLA/ADA Compliance Conferences

Throughout the year, HR professionals and attorneys ask me for my recommendations on the very best conferences to learn more about the FMLA and ADA. The “best,” of course, is in the eye of the beholder. In my humble...more

2/4/2015 - ADA Chief Compliance Officers Employer Liability Issues Employer Mandates FMLA Human Resources Professionals Professional Conferences

Employer's Poorly Drafted FMLA Policy Allows Employee to Advance FMLA Claim (That Should Have Never Seen the Light of Day)

If this story won’t cause you bring your FMLA policy up to snuff, then I’ve lost all hope. FMLA’s Basic Premise - An employee is eligible for FMLA leave if he meets three basic criteria: With this backdrop in...more

1/28/2015 - Employee Handbooks Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies FMLA Wrongful Termination

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